A global Review of the General Conditions of Use of Approved Gaming Operators Leads to the Removal of Problematic Clauses

March 27, 2024 | Gaming

FRANCE (March 26, 2024) — Following reports received by the gaming mediator and the ANJ, the latter conducted a global review of the general conditions of use and gaming regulations of approved online gambling and chance operators. This compliance support enabled the removal of several problematic clauses.

The ANJ and the Gaming Mediator have been questioned on several occasions by players regarding the validity of certain clauses stipulated in the general conditions of use (CGU) and the gaming and betting regulations of approved online operators. The question of the validity of these clauses could also be posed to the courts. 

In this context, the ANJ decided to conduct a review of the contractual documentation of all approved online operators.

This review was carried out with the aim of achieving a satisfactory level of legal compliance, before possible subsequent controls. It does not constitute validation by the ANJ. In fact, the operators remain solely responsible for drafting the contractual documentation which is not intended to be standardized. 

The main findings and points of improvement for the benefit of players

This global review and the exchanges which took place on this occasion between the ANJ services and the operators allowed the deletion of various clauses, for some illegal, due to their abusive nature, for others ambiguous and therefore likely to lead to implementation difficulties. These include the following clauses:

  • clauses totally or partially excluding the liability of operators , thus unduly restricting players’ right to compensation in the event of a breach by the gaming operator;

  • clauses hindering the exercise of legal action by consumers , such as those requiring the player, in the event of a dispute, to refer the matter to a court other than that of his place of domicile. Regardless of where the operator’s head office is located, even when abroad, the player must be able to enter the jurisdiction of his domicile;

  • clauses restricting the means of proof available to consumers;

  • clauses shortening the duration of the limitation period during which the player can assert his rights against the operator and which, in principle, is five years; 

  • clauses allowing the operator to limit players’ bets without having to provide a legitimate reason . In this regard, the ANJ reminded operators that a limitation of bets without legitimate reason may constitute a refusal to provide services prohibited by the consumer code, or even, depending on the circumstances, a deceptive commercial practice. In this matter, the legitimate reason, which must always be able to be proven by the operator, may in particular be based on:

    – the prevention of excessive or pathological gambling and the protection of minors; 

    – the fight against fraud, money laundering and the financing of terrorism; 

    – or the financial exposure of the operator.

  • clauses likely to thwart players’ predictions, such as those likely to lead, in the event of a tie or ex-aequo rankings , to the payment to the player of a sum lower than his initial stake (payment of the bet at odds lower than 1).

At the end of this review, the operators corrected most of the clauses thus noted and several of them chose to completely overhaul their T&Cs.

SOURCE: Autorité Nationale des Jeux (National Gaming Authority).

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