ANJ publishes new rulebook on advertising standards 

l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s unified gambling regulator, has updated its market ‘guidelines and recommendations’ on advertising. 

Last summer, following the conclusion of the UEFA Euro 2020 Championships – the ANJ was forced to review industry advertising due to public complaints on the ‘oversaturation of adverts’ during the football tournament.  

Called into action, the ANJ launched a public consolation to garner viewer feedback on bookmaker advertising, and further established a symposium of advertising experts to provide guidance on ‘limiting the intensity of advertising’ and ‘protecting vulnerable audiences and minors’.

“In France, gambling is not considered an ordinary service because it carries with it significant risks of debt or public health (addiction and isolation) for the player and his family,”  the document outlined.  

“This is why it is only authorized by way of derogation and is subject to strict supervision in order to prevent these risks.”

Reflecting feedback provided by audiences and back-to-back market studies undertaken by Kantar and Harris Interactive, the ANJ has updated its advertising guidelines.

Outlined as a principal measure, licensed incumbents have been notified that the “primary purpose of gambling advertising, is to allow operators to make their offer known to the public, so that it can be distinguished from that of illegal/unlicensed operators”.

As a new measure, adverts that are deemed to ‘trivialise gambling’ will be banned by the ANJ as well as those that ‘contain unfounded statements’ be it that gambling can improve your social status, as an alternative to work or showcasing unrealistic chances of winning.

Gambling adverts will be reviewed in order to ensure that campaigns feature no individuals/characters that are aged-18 and under.

Seeking to reduce advertising exposure, the ANJ recommends to TV and Radio operators that they limit industry advertising to “a combined three gambling ads per advertising slot”.

Meanwhile, across online verticals, French operators should limit their exposure to “three commercial communications per day and per platform” be it website, app, social media or search engine”.

As a market safeguard, players should be offered an ‘advertising moderator’ to choose whether to exclude themselves from engaging  with gambling-related adverts. 

The ANJ will continue to update its advertising guidelines, in which it has ordered all licensed operators to submit their six-month reports outlining their upcoming advertising spend and campaign activities.  

Providing its new advertising guidelines, the ANJ stated that it would monitor how licensed operators observed recommendations and best practices, being provided feedback by the French media agencies of ARPP – France’s Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority, and the ARCOM  the Audiovisual Communication Regulator.  

Signing off its update, the ANJ warned incumbents that industry results must be manifested by the UEFA 2022 World Cup, in which the French public must recognise a clear improvement in standards.  


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