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ANJ urges RG caution in France ahead of potential €1bn in Euro 2024 bets

| By Kyle Goldsmith
L'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the regulator of gambling in France, has launched a new problem gambling prevention campaign ahead of Euro 2024.
ANJ France Euro 2024

Euro 2024 gets under way in Germany on 14 June and the ANJ says close to €1bn (£851.4m/$1.1bn) could be staked in France on the tournament. The ANJ did note the stake amounts will depend on how France, among the favourites to lift the trophy, fare in the competition.

The €1bn figure would surpass the 2022 World Cup’s stakes total of €900m, when France reached the final. The last European Championships, held in 2021, generated €700m in bets.

However, amid the expected increase in betting activity, the ANJ is urging players – particularly younger people – to take notice of legal notices featured on gambling advertising.

The ANJ’s new prevention campaign aims to raise awareness of betting addiction and the resulting problems. The messages highlight a “deliberately disproportionate” section on addiction risks in yellow to tell the “real stories” of problem gambling.

Messages will also refer to the Evalujeu website, which allows players to evaluate their gambling and receive advice. ANJ president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin emphasised the importance of raising awareness of such options.

“The ANJ wishes to make an impact with its campaign which aims to make people understand that legal notices on advertisements are not only a legal obligation but that they contain stories of players’ lives, testimonials on the risks linked to excessive gambling such as those we receive every day at the ANJ,” Falque-Pierrotin said.

Over half of France expected to follow Euro 2024

Prior to the tournament, the ANJ requested consumer insights provider Toluna-Harris Interactive to conduct research on the French population’s betting intentions. An online survey was carried out in May with 1,070 respondents.

The study found 55% of France’s population plan on following Euro 2024. A total of 82% of respondents identified addiction risks.

In addition, 35% of French people plan to place wagers on Euro 2024 games. That figure jumps to 44% for those aged between 18 and 34, highlighting the need to raise awareness of addiction risks among younger people.

The ANJ stated over €4bn in online sports bets was placed in 2023, with football attributed to 52% of such stakes. A total of 64% of sports bettors were found to be aged between 18 and 34.

ANJ: Room for improvement despite RG progress

In 2019, the Games Observatory approximated there were 1.4 million at-risk gamblers in France. Close to 400,000 were vulnerable at the pathological level. The research also identified sports betting to provide the biggest risk.

The same year, a new ordinance mandated operators should submit an annual plan to the ANJ to prevent excessive gambling.

In April 2024, the ANJ revealed “significant progress” had been made to limit problem gambling, especially in raising awareness. However, the ANJ still noted problem gambling rates were still too high in France. It pointed to its 2024-2026 strategic plan which prioritised the aim of helping problem and underage gamblers. The regulator urged operators to further improve their responsible gambling efforts to increase player protection.

In announcing the Euro 2024 prevention campaign, Falque-Pierrotin praised operators for their work and called for it to continue.

“Since the excesses of the Euro in 2021, gambling operators have become aware of their responsibilities in the fight against excessive gambling and have adjusted their practices,” she said.

“This positive dynamic must continue during the Euro and the Olympic Games and the ANJ will be vigilant on the actual practices of each.”

Strong 2023 for French gambling

In April, the ANJ reported record gross gambling revenue of €13.4bn across France in 2023.

That turnover was 3.5% higher than 2022 despite the presence of a World Cup in that year. All market segments reported increased GGR.

Online gambling GGR hit €2.3n in 2023, a 7.2% year-on-year increase. The year prior saw just a 0.8% increase.

Falque-Pierrotin stated: “This good health of the market demonstrates that demanding regulation is not an obstacle to development.

“This growth makes all the more relevant the objective of reducing the number of excessive gamblers that the ANJ has placed at the centre of its action for the years to come.”

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