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French regulator issues new guidelines on welcome offers

French regulator Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has published new guidelines on “commercial offers involving financial rewards.”

Operators wishing to offer bonuses and free bets in France are now subject to stricter requirements.

Players regularly contact the watchdog seeking “clarity,” it said, hence the new guidelines which are designed to make commercial offers more transparent and “moderate them” to safeguard at-risk users.

The regulator commented: “Less than a month before the opening of the Football World Cup, the ANJ wishes to improve the transparency of these practices and moderate them to protect players at risk.”

Chiefly, operators are being encouraged to word their offers more clearly.

They should include “the substantial information necessary” for an offer to be properly understood, “the absence of which could mislead the consumer.”

For example, if an offer is only available temporarily, operators should include the duration. The “nature of the reward” should also be made clear, such as whether players will receive real money or in-game credits.

Moreover, the ANJ intends to ensure commercial offers involving financial rewards “do not aggravate the situation of people with excessive or pathological gambling problems.”

Operators must, for example, “exercise particular vigilance” with regard to users who have “recently benefited from a self-exclusion measure or gambling ban.”

The ANJ also recommends that operators refrain from proposing welcome offers “comprising one or more financial gratuities of a total amount greater than €100 ($99.50).”

It said: “The ANJ emphasises that the reasonable nature of these welcome or loyalty offers will be the subject of particular attention on its part during the annual review of the operators’ promotional strategies and their action plans to prevent excessive gambling.”

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