In a decisive move to bolster the regulation of commercial gambling practices, French gambling regulator, Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has issued stringent rules against using athletes’ images in gambling advertisements. These regulations follow a series of other stringent directives aimed at safeguarding minors and deterring problematic gambling behaviour.
Ensuring Child Protection
In a bid to quantify the magnetism an athlete holds for the younger demographic, ANJ has ingeniously devised a set of measures. A significant part of this strategy zeroes in on the athlete’s social media popularity, particularly among the 13-17 age bracket. Should this age group constitute 16% of an athlete’s total followers, ANJ considers the athlete influential among minors. This analytical approach facilitates an accurate and efficacious enforcement of the new restrictions.
The newly imposed rules also stretch the child protection measures by decisively barring children from engaging in any commercial activities tied to gambling. This provision covers every facet of a gambling partnership, creating a robust safety net for minors at the crossroads of sport and betting.
ANJ: Accountable Advertising Practices
ANJ also champions for accountable advertising practices. The fresh directives adamantly state that the logos of gaming companies should not deface clothing meant for children, expressly outlawing their imprint on child-sized sports jerseys.
Building upon these responsible advertising efforts, ANJ requires that all on-pitch betting ads carry a distinct disclaimer stating “forbidden to those under 18”. This rule ensures a constant reminder to minors, whether at the stadium or at home, that gambling is an activity strictly reserved for adults.
Through these comprehensive measures, ANJ showcases its unwavering commitment to striking a delicate balance between catering to the gambling industry and performing its cardinal duty of minor protection.
Implications for the iGaming Industry
The newly minted regulations hint at the following repercussions for the broader iGaming industry:
- Increased Vigilance: This move by ANJ underlines a global trend towards stricter regulation of gambling sponsorships. The industry will need to be increasingly mindful of local regulations and invest in compliance to avoid hefty penalties.
- Reshaping Sponsorship Agreements: With the banning of athletes in advertising, sponsorship agreements will likely be redefined, requiring operators to innovate in their marketing strategies.
- Changing Player Acquisition Strategies: iGaming businesses will need to rethink their player acquisition strategies, particularly in markets where minors form a significant portion of popular athletes’ fan bases.
While the immediate implications may pose challenges to the iGaming industry, in the long term, these regulations foster an ecosystem that upholds responsible gambling. It’s a shift that could positively impact the industry’s reputation, leading to a healthier, more sustainable iGaming landscape.