The French government has proposed a series of new requirements for the inclusion of responsible gaming messages in online betting advertisements. A draft decree proposes the introduction of a mandatory warning message about excessive or pathological gambling.
If approved, operators will need to include the message along with information about support available to help customers suffering from game-related damage, such as the Jouer service.
Responsible gaming messages will have to be applied in black on a yellow background, occupying at least 15% of the online advertisement space and 7% of movie advertisements and posters.
Video ads will have to include a five-second packshot at the end containing the message. Users cannot skip this part of the ad. The deadline for implementation would be 30 days after approval of the rules.
The decree notes that a survey by the French Public Health Agency found that 73% of gamblers find prevention messages useful as a warning about online gambling addiction, but says that previous health messages “have become less effective and need be adapted” to new types of advertisements.
He says that while the number of moderate-risk gamblers is steady at around one million, the number of people with problems with excessive gambling has increased from 200,000 in 2014 to 370,000 in 2019.
ANJ vetoed the participation of athletes in online betting campaigns
The proposed new rules come after French gaming regulator ANJ introduced new guidance banning the use of athletes in online betting campaigns. The ANJ’s guidance is not legally enforceable, but suggests it will require legislative changes if operators fail to comply.
Since 2010, the Online Gaming Regulatory Authority (ARJEL) has been entrusted with the status of an independent administrative authority. This statute was necessary to avoid a double conflict of interests: on the one hand, the state is a shareholder in one of the operators, La Française des Jeux, and on the other hand, it must arbitrate between fiscal and public health issues.
With Article 137 of the Pacte Act on the privatization of La Française des Jeux and the Order of October 2, 2019 that reforms the gambling regulations, the legislator extended the scope of intervention of the new Gambling Authority (ANJ) by assigning it the status of an independent administrative authority.
The ANJ reports to the French Parliament, presenting an annual activity report and the president can be heard by the competent committee of each of the two assemblies.