by Antoni Majewski

French Gaming Authority ANJ’s Rigorous Oversight of 2024 Gambling Promotional Strategies

The French National Gaming Authority (ANJ) has meticulously reviewed the promotional strategies of gambling operators for 2024, emphasizing the need to balance advertising with responsible gambling, especially in light of the packed sports calendar.

Legal Framework and ANJ’s Evaluative Criteria

Each year, gambling operators in France, whether monopolistic or competitive, are required to submit their promotional strategies to the ANJ for approval. The ANJ’s analysis framework focuses on balancing legitimate advertising needs with the prevention of excessive or pathological gambling and the protection of minors. The reference framework for preventing excessive gambling, established in 2021, provides an operational guideline for operators in fulfilling these obligations.

Analysis of 2024 Promotional Strategies

For 2024, the ANJ analyzed the promotional plans of 16 licensed online operators and 2 exclusive rights operators (FDJ and PMU). The common trend among these operators is the continuation of the 2023 strategy aimed at player retention, amid significant sporting events like the Euro and the Olympics. However, the review highlighted several areas of concern:

  • A 14% increase in promotional investments, totaling €670 million, with 30% allocated between May and July during major sporting events.
  • 46% of media investments will be in digital channels, effective in player capture and retention, alongside TV (26%) and sports sponsorship (15%).
  • Financial incentives are the primary marketing tool (59% of investments), with five operators accounting for 82% of these investments. Operators aim to recruit 4.9 million new players in 2024, a 9% increase from 2023.

ANJ’s Conditional Approvals

Given these concerns, the ANJ approved the promotional strategies but imposed stringent conditions, asking some operators to:

  • Significantly moderate their promotional strategies to avoid excessive advertising pressure, particularly during the Euro 2024 and the Paris Olympics.
  • Exercise restrained use of the most inciting promotional tools, especially for offers with a higher risk of problematic gambling.
  • Ensure that financial incentives for recruiting or retaining players remain moderate and comprehensible, and not target players identified as potentially excessive or pathological.

Partial Rejection of WINAMAX’s Promotional Strategy

The ANJ partially rejected WINAMAX’s promotional strategy related to financial incentives. The ANJ expressed concerns over the substantial volume of financial gratifications, their constant distribution, and the convertibility into bets or poker, posing a significant risk of intensifying gambling practices, especially among vulnerable players. WINAMAX must submit a revised proposal focusing on commercial offers with financial gratifications by February 15, 2024.

Conclusion: A Balanced Approach to Gambling Promotion

The ANJ’s detailed review of the 2024 promotional strategies underscores its commitment to responsible gambling. By imposing stringent conditions and partially rejecting WINAMAX’s strategy, the ANJ demonstrates its proactive approach in mitigating the risks associated with gambling, especially in a year rich with sporting events.

These measures reflect the balance that the ANJ seeks to maintain between allowing legitimate advertising and safeguarding against the dangers of excessive or pathological gambling, ensuring a safer gambling environment in France.

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