Advertising and sports betting: the ANJ asks Winamax to withdraw its advertisement
The members of the French National Gambling Authority (ANJ) met on March 17 and decided to order the sports betting operator Winamax to withdraw its "Everything for mom" advertisement within one month. Indeed, they consider that this advertisement conveys the message that sports betting can contribute to social success, which is prohibited by the Decree of November 4, 2020, regulating the content of commercial communications for gambling, as interpreted by the ANJ in its guidelines on commercial communications adopted on February 17.
Reminder of the legal framework applicable to gambling advertising content
In France, gambling is not considered as an ordinary service because it carries significant risks of abuse (over-indebtedness) or public health risks (addiction and isolation) for the player and those around him. This is why it is only authorised by way of derogation and is subject to strict supervision in order to prevent these risks. The purpose of gambling advertising is to enable operators to make their offer known to the public, so that it can be distinguished from the (prohibited) offer of illegal operators.
On February 23, 2022, the ANJ published guidelines to clarify its interpretation of the rules governing the content of commercial communications for gambling, which are set out in Articles D. 320-9 and D. 320-10 of the Internal Security Code, as amended by the Decree of November 4, 2020.
Article D. 320-9, 2°, of this code specifies that "any commercial communication in favour of a gambling operator is prohibited when it suggests that playing contributes to social success". In its guidelines, the ANJ clarifies its interpretation of these provisions and considers that
- Commercial communications must not associate gambling with the possibility of a change in social status, extraordinary experiences or access to services usually considered to be reserved for the very wealthy, such as a trip on a private jet or a luxury yacht cruise;
- Hyperbolic advertisements are permitted provided that they do not, through the use of emphasis, parody or patently exaggerated staging, circumvent or undermine the provisions of Article D. 320-9 of the Internal Security Code.
The request for withdrawal of the Winamax "Tout pour la Daronne" advertisement
Following the publication of the guidelines, which was preceded by several exchanges with gambling operators, the ANJ is currently reviewing certain commercial communications to assess their compliance with the guidelines.
It appears from this analysis that the Winamax film "Tout pour la Daronne" conveys the message that sports betting can contribute to social success, understood as upward social mobility or a change in social status, in this case that of the mother and her son thanks to the profit he made from a successful sports bet.
For this reason, the ANJ panel ordered Winamax to withdraw its commercial entitled "Tout pour la Daronne" from all distribution media within one month of the decision being notified.
This is the first time that the ANJ has exercised this power to withdraw a commercial communication.