After nearly a year of reflection, the regulator has decided. The National Gaming Authority (ANJ) publishes this Wednesday the result of the reflection of its working group, launched in June 2022, on the sports partnerships of gambling operators. A series of guidelines and recommendations to physical and online betting professionals as well as federations, leagues and clubs as the sector is expected to grow from €34 million in 2022 to €40.7 million this year.
"These proposals constitute a first response, in constant law, to the risks of trivialization and attractiveness of the practice of gambling that these sports partnerships can represent for minors and problem players," says the three-page summary of the work with the sector. The idea is therefore to try to limit the spread of these advertising messages among the youngest, who are already prohibited by law from playing.
For this, the ANJ tackles the communication of operators, and in particular that with the idols of this generation. It therefore decided to "prohibit the association of an athlete who belongs to the world of minors with a commercial communication in favor of a gambling operator if the exploitation of his image is carried out individually or with other sportsmen if he is put forward in relation to the latter".
No toys with betting operators
The regulatory authority will rely on a "bundle of clues" to list these athletes, such as "the opinion expressed by minors during surveys relating to their favorite personalities (top 10)", as well as "the measurement of the audience of these personalities with minors on social networks". The latter should exceed 16% on the 13-17 age group of the audience of one or more platforms.
Concretely, footballers Olivier Giroud, Hugo Lloris and Kylian Mbappé, elected favorite sportsmen of 7-14 years by "Mickey's diary", could integrate this category. This means that a betting operator could use their image in an advertisement, but on condition that they do not put it more prominently than several of their club or selection partners less popular among minors.
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The ANJ also requires "to exclude from the sale and free distribution of derivative products bearing the brand of an operator such as soft toys, children's toys, figurines" and also to "exclude minors from any active participation in commercial activities implemented in the context of a partnership with a gambling operator".
"Guidelines" that call for sanctions of online betting sites or physical operators in case of non-compliance. In the field of the prevention of minors, the regulator also recommends, which is non-coercive, not to "affix the mark of a gambling operator on child-sized jerseys" or "to insert a pictogram prohibited to under 18s on the various communication media of the operator placed on the sides of the field".
On this point, as well as on the fight against illegal operators and the prevention of excessive gambling, the ANJ reserves the right to propose changes to the law or regulations. An assessment will be drawn up, with the entire sector, in the first quarter of 2024.