The French Authority Warns Operators Who Block Bets

L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (the National Gaming Authority (ANJ) of France has issued a warning to operators in the country. The regulator is unhappy with the unjustified limits that they have been putting on responsible players.

The French Authority Appealed to the Code of Consumption

This comes in the wake of numerous complaints from bettors in the country. According to the players, some operators either place a limit on their stakes without a sound reason or even flat out refuse their bets. This has led to many passionate gamers losing good betting opportunities.

It was estimated that almost a fifth of the recent referrals was in relation to the refused bets matter. The ANJ is hearing players’ demands and has addressed the issue. Last Thursday, the regulator released an official deliberation to solve the problem.

The document points out the French Code of Consumption. According to its L. 121-11 article, it is a punishable offense to refuse service to a customer without any substantial reason for it. Violation of this law can result in a fine as high as $1,740. Repeated offenses may up this fine to almost $3,500.

The ANJ continues by slamming bet refusals as what can be called a “deceptive marketing tactic”. The authority then pointed to another part of the Code of Consumption, namely L.121-2 which gives a clear definition of what a “deceptive marketing tactic is.”

According to French law, this includes false or misleading allegations, indications, or presentations of the existence, availability, and/or nature of the good or service, among others. The offense risks perpetrators a fine of around $350,000 and up to two years in prison. Therefore, refusing bets without a sound reason for doing so is punishable and may even get responsible employees to prison, the authority emphasized.

Operators May Refuse Bets but Only When It’s Justified

However, in some cases, it may still be permissible to refuse a bet. Valid reasons for refusing a bet include when an operator tries to prevent gambling harm, addictive behaviors, money laundering, or when a client has been banned, has self-excluded themselves, or isn’t of legal gambling age.

Many regulators across the world have been talking about stake limits. Some opponents of gambling regard stake limits as something necessary to a healthy gaming ecosystem. Yet, although stakes can mitigate harm among addicts, they can harm the regular bettors who wish to enjoy the gambling experience. 

With the ANJ’s decision in place, operators should be vigilant, carefully follow their clients’ tendencies and more accurately determine when refusing a bet is justified and when it is not.

This isn’t the first time this year when the ANJ was unhappy with the local operators’ approach to the market. This summer, the regulator critiqued the volume of gambling ads during the Euro Cup.

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