French gambling regulator orders online operators to review T&Cs

The ANJ says online gambling T&Cs require closer monitoring.
The ANJ says online gambling T&Cs require closer monitoring.

The ANJ carried out a review following customer complaints.

France.- The French gambling regulator Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has ordered online gambling operators to revise their customer terms and conditions following a review. It has told operators to identify and remove illegal or ambiguous clauses, including those that unfairly limit operator liability or restrict customers’ right to compensation.

The regulator said it had carried out a review after France’s online gambling ombudsman, Mediateur des Jeux en Ligne, received a number of complaints from players about the validity of clauses in the terms they were asked to agree to.

The ANJ said it aims to achieve a “satisfactory level” of legal compliance in the general clauses of online gambling customer T&Cs without resorting to a standardised contractual obligation for licensees. It said that general clauses must not prevent a customer’s right to take legal action, including the option to refer the matter to a court other than in the operator’s domicile. 

Operators were also told that they cannot restrict the forms of proof available to customers, limit claim periods, or reduce payouts unfairly. The ANJ said closer monitoring of terms and conditions would be required to ensure fairness and transparency and to address concerns related to legal jurisdiction, evidence, claim timelines and payouts.

ANJ strategic plan for 2024-26

The ANJ has called on licensed operators to work with it towards the objectives of its new strategic plan for 2024-26. Its focus for the next two years will be reducing excessive gambling and protecting minors.

This plan involves three pillars: to “drastically reduce the proportion and number of excessive gamblers in the gambling market”, to ensure transparency and integrity and to enhance “the economic dimension of regulation to gain a better understanding of market balances and provide solutions to the changes it is facing today”. 

Last month, the ANJ issued a warning about illegal gambling websites using the brands of licensed operators on Facebook. It said it had become aware of a number of illegal operators using the method to try to trick players into gambling on their sites.

The ANJ said that it was working with Facebook on the issue and was monitoring the platform on a daily basis. It said it had reported 400 website URLs to parent company Meta, resulting in the suspension of 137 Facebook accounts. It said Barrière and JOA were the licensees that had most been targeted by the use of their branding in promotional images for unlicensed sites, including for online casino, which is illegal in France.

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