ANJ Sets Guidelines for French Sports and Gambling Operator Partnerships

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The Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the independent gambling authority in France, has released a report which gives some guidelines on the partnerships between the gambling industry and major sports bodies and sports sponsorship.

The report is the culmination of months of work following the setting up of a working group in July 2022 to investigate the relationship between sports and the gambling industry.

The ANJ listed several observations they had made investigating the links between sports partnerships and the gambling industry. These include the increasing use of athletes to promote gambling companies, and the number of sports stadiums and competitions that carry the name of betting operators.

One of the main guidelines in the report is the protection of minors, children under 18. A lot of gaming operators in France use pictures of sports personalities across their gambling media platforms, which links children’s sporting heroes to gambling companies. ANJ proposes a guideline to prohibit the image of a sporting athlete to be associated with a gambling company.

Also to protect minors ANJ recommends that major sports clubs do not carry any gambling brands logos on replica shirts that are sized for children. Plus any signage in stadiums relating to gaming operators should carry a warning stating “forbidden to those under 18”.

There is a set of guidelines in the report to protect those at risk from problem gambling. It recommends sports players should not be used in gambling adverts or any promotion of the gaming operator. ANJ stated there should not be any direct link between a sports organization and a gambling company.

There is also a concern about the level of illegal gaming operators in the French market, and the ANJ would like sporting organizations to check with the ANJ that any gaming operators are on an approved list of gambling companies by the gaming regulators.

European Country Gaming Industry Comparison

The ANJ further compares the approach to the relationship between the gaming industry and sports in France with that of other European countries. It notes that Spain, Italy, and Switzerland have already banned partnerships between the gambling industry and major sports, while the Netherlands and Belgium are planning to implement similar measures. Additionally, the United Kingdom (UK) is expected to impose limits on such partnerships in the near future.

These guidelines from the ANJ reflect a growing awareness of the potential risks associated with the close relationship between the gambling industry and sports. By implementing these measures, the ANJ aims to protect minors, individuals at risk of problem gambling, and the integrity of sports in France.

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