ANJ – Examination of the Promotional Strategies of Gambling Operators

January 10, 2024 | Gambling

A rich 2024 sports calendar which involves risks of significant stimulation of players

FRANCE (January 9, 2024) — The college of the National Gaming Authority examined the 2024 promotional strategies of gambling operators. Various points of vigilance common to operators were identified on this occasion: maintaining advertising investments at a high level, particularly on digital, the concentration of campaigns from May to July, a high amount allocated to financial rewards to recruit and retain punters. and the use of sports sponsorship. The ANJ issued demanding requirements and also decided to partially reject the strategy of an operator, on the aspect relating to financial rewards.

Reminder of the legal framework 

Each year, gambling operators, under monopoly or in competition, must submit their promotional strategy for approval to the National Gaming Authority. The ANJ examines this with regard to the objectives of State policy on gambling and, more particularly, the prevention of excessive or pathological gambling and the protection of minors.

When examining these promotional strategies, the ANJ analysis grid takes into account the balance to be found between the legitimate use of advertising by operators to promote the legal gaming offer and the need not to not encourage excessive or pathological gambling and protect minors. The reference framework for the prevention of excessive and pathological gambling and the protection of minors adopted in 2021 offers operational instructions for operators in the implementation of these obligations.

Analysis of strategies  and approvals with conditions

The ANJ carried out an analysis of the promotional strategies for 2024 of the 16 approved online operators and the 2 operators under exclusive rights (FDJ and PMU).

In 2024, most operators intend to continue the strategy implemented in 2023 , characterized by a desire to retain players, in a context of strong sporting activity around the Euro and the Olympics.

The examination of the 2024 promotional strategies highlighted several points for vigilance :

  • Promotional investments up 14%. The operators plan to commit 670 million euros with a concentration between May and July on the occasion of the Euro football and the Paris Olympics. 30% of investments will be allocated over these 3 months;

  • 46% of media investments will be made on digital channels,  particularly effective levers in terms of capturing and retaining players. Other investments will mainly be in TV (26%) and sports sponsorship (15%); 
  • Financial rewards constitute the primary marketing item for operators (59% of investments), which reflects their desire to retain their customer base; 5 operators account for 82% of these investments. Operators also aim to recruit 4.9M new players in 202, an increase of 9% compared to 2023.

Taking into account these points of vigilance, the ANJ approved the promotional strategies submitted by the operators but attached its decisions to demanding conditions by asking some of them to:

  • Significantly moderate their promotional strategy in order not to exert excessive advertising pressure on all the different existing media supports, particularly during the period of Euro 2024 and that of the Paris Olympic Games;

  • Adopt moderate use of the most incentive promotional tools, in particular for offers involving an increased risk of problem gambling (notably quick poker tournaments, live bets and high odds bets);

  • Ensure, on the one hand, that financial rewards intended to recruit or retain players remain moderate and understandable to the public and, on the other hand, not to offer these rewards to players that it identifies as potentially excessive or pathological.

Partial rejection of WINAMAX’s promotional strategy  for the aspect relating to financial rewards

Finally, the ANJ college decided to partially reject the promotional strategy of the company WINAMAX  on the aspect relating to bonuses and financial rewards . Indeed, the ANJ considers that the company’s strategy presents, taking into account the considerable volume of financial rewards envisaged, their permanent distribution with each gaming action and the fact that they can be converted into bet or poker, a significant risk of intensification of gambling practices, this risk being exacerbated among the most fragile players.

The company WINAMAX must submit, no later than February 15, 2024, a new approval request file dedicated to commercial offers involving financial compensation.

Link to decisions

SOURCE: Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ).

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