Have you ever considered that a government crackdown on gambling advertisements could successfully decrease gaming-related risks? That is exactly what France and its unified gaming authority – l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) – did.
The government was able to “limit advertising pressure” and prevent French youth from betting large sums of money on international sporting events. Even more intriguing, the ANJ implemented new incentive criteria for sports betting venues, affecting the attractiveness of their promotions.
Reasons Behind the Crackdown
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You may be wondering why the French gaming authorities considered these measures in the first place, and how they were eventually applied. It all started in October 2022, just before the Fifa World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
During this period, the ANJ predicted that the next football tournament will generate a record-breaking amount of bets and gross gaming revenue (GGR). This made sense given that another major competition, the UEFA Euro 2020, had broken the previous year’s record.
However, the ANJ discovered that French youngsters (18 to 20 years old) were the most frequent bettors and were most likely to develop a gambling addiction as their numbers grew. As a result, the authorities were looking into ways to limit the prizes and bonuses for making bets on World Cup matches.
After all, France won the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the same squad was poised to reach the tournament’s grand final in 2022. This would not only increase traffic to sports betting facilities and websites, but it would also increase the danger of young French people acquiring a gambling problem or addiction. In 2018, the French betting market witnessed over 230,000 new accounts and bets totaling €38 million.18-24-year-olds made up 53% of new bettors during the World Cup.
What Restrictions Were Implemented?
To combat these concerns, the ANJ contemplated adopting a full set of remedies. Nonetheless, the authorities first chose to crack down on the betting venues’ player awards and bonuses. Even the most trustworthy and reliable French sports betting sites were not excluded.
Bonuses and RewardsFrench Sports betting sites
ANJ recommended that all betting sites refrain from offering welcome bonuses over 100 euros. The measure was accepted and imposed by almost all betting operators across the country. The aim was to decrease the attractiveness of betting welcome packages and lower the number of young players placing their bets.
The Four Commitments Charter
The authorities and sports betting companies signed the Four Commitment Charter in November 2022. They promised to reduce the amount of advertising and adjust the “tone” of those that are released. The first two promises attempted to put pressure on “conventional media” to reduce the number of World Cup bettors.
The agreement also includes a new charter for display advertising that restricts the number of ads near schools, addiction centers, or train and metro stations. The 4th charter includes licensed operators and advertising professionals that are a part of the Digital Alliance.
The ANJ has required frequent audits of several of the country’s largest sports betting companies. They were able to ensure that the charters were followed. Furthermore, they examined financial and marketing openness throughout the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The regular ANJ audits emphasized compliance with the need for adjustments in the tone of the companies’ advertisements. Sports betting providers had to concentrate less emphasis on “external indicators of wealth and erroneous assumptions about the possibilities of improving social standing through sports betting” during this World Cup.
Unfortunately, France lost to Argentina in the 2022 Qatar World Cup finals, but the ANJ measures were the real winners here. The rate of new accounts was fewer than in the previous World Cup, the majority of sports betting firms complied with regulations, and the French public found the advertising “somewhat less upsetting and forceful”. These steps are simply the beginning, and the ANJ still has work to do. In fact, they want to make additional proposals on betting sponsorships in the near future.
Source: The Citizen