Everyone loves seeing a good commercial every now and then. However, no one likes to be bombarded by ads. French authority, L'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), conducted an analysis of betting advertisements during the recent FIFA Euro 2020, and boy, it was not happy with the results! After seeing the numbers, the regulatory body said operators “crossed the line”. It also instructed them to “immediately reduce” advertising. Oops!
Anyone who knows anything about sports knows that Euro 2020 was the biggest event in the industry after the World Cup. The worldwide audiences peaked during the finals, with an estimated 30.95 million viewers cheering for either Italy or England. Bookies from all over the world, including France, grasped the opportunity and stretched their budgets to the max. The French gambling regulator claims 434 million online bets were placed by the French alone.
Now that the football frenzy has come to an end, ANJ reviewed the marketing practices during that period. Unpleasantly surprised by the numbers, the watchdog sent an important message to French operators. The first message tackled the high frequency of betting ads during the championship. The second was related to the prevention of targeting young audiences.
The ANJ’s report states “the line was crossed” with heavy advertising during Euro 2020. The authority said advertising schemes will affect the regulatory framework in the upcoming 10 years. ANJ believes gaming advertisements of all kinds should be “drastically and instantly reduced”.
This isn’t the first time this year ANJ has expressed concern about gambling ads. In January 2021, it warned lottery operator La Française des Jeux and racing monopoly Pari-Mutuel Urbain for using Snapchat and TikTok ads.
We are all aware the Euro 2020 ads are water under the bridge - long gone and forgotten. However, ANJ doesn’t mean to let things go quite yet! The watchdog asked all companies to review their advertising plans and promotional campaigns. It even threatened them with sanctions if they failed to comply. Operators took the warning seriously and agreed to adjust advertising tactics.
Do you think ANJ is done? Oh, no - they prepared quite a few moves to make sure something like this never happens again. On September 21 2021, the regulator will hold a special seminar with gambling addiction experts to try and define problem gambling.
The next big move is a meeting with stakeholders. This consultation, also due to happen in fall 2021, will be all about advertising in the gambling industry. Furthermore, it is possible additional measures will be announced after the meeting.
Besides that, ANJ will launch five different projects. Each and every one of them will fight to prevent such scenarios in the future, especially during big sports events. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, president of the ANJ, didn’t hesitate to say Euro 2020 showed some flaws in the current regulatory framework. She noted the event cast a light on a whole set of problems. According to her, some of the issues were already acknowledged by the ANJ team.
The president also described the current situation as risky and accentuated the fact that players must be protected ASAP. She aims to create a simple yet effective action plan that will show results immediately. The plan will also include new rules, new tools, and a higher level of controls, as well as sanctions.