French national gambling authority, l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), published the first report released by the Mediateur des Jeux en Ligne (The Mediator), its service offering solutions to disputes between gambling operators and consumers.
The report from the serving as an impartial arbitrator service recorded 1,420 dispute requests made by French consumers against licensed gambling operators in 2020, with the majority of the requests, 82% of the total, arising due to sports wager cancellations.
A further breakdown of the cases reported to The Mediator revealed 761 requests were deemed inadmissible by the service mainly due to the majority of the applicants failing to provide any written complaint on the dispute with the gambling operator.
From the remaining 659 applications for consideration, The Mediator managed to solve 530 cases, taking an average time of 62 days to process and settle a request.
As a summary of its findings, The Mediator highlighted the need for licensed sports betting operators to revise their terms and conditions and provide clarity with regards to bet cancellations. The dispute management service went on in the report to point out that players needed further details related to the settlement of cash-out payments and wager-related bonus offerings.
Regulator Structure and Functions
ANJ is an independent regulatory authority that regulates licensed gambling and sports betting and reports directly to the Parliament. Governed by a board consisting of 9 members appointed for a 6-year term, the regulatory body comprises of the Sanction Committee and The Mediator. The Sanction Committee deals with proceedings against any legal operator which failed or is currently failing to comply with obligations as per law and regulations related to its activity.
The Mediator is an independent dispute moderating service established in 2019 to ensure disputes arising within a gambling context between an operator and consumers can be resolved while ensuring ANJ performs its function to protect players by making sure any legal gambling offer is fair and recreational while supervising operators to respect their obligations. The scope of the Mediator service also encompasses complaints against monopoly incumbents, the national lottery FDJ, and French horse racing PMU.