French regulator ANJ warns sportsbook operators

Having received complaints from players during the past month, that sports betting operators refused to accept their bets, the French gambling regulator L’autorité nationale des jeux ANJ issued a warning outlining deliberation on the issue. 

According to ANJ’s statement “refusing to provide a service to a consumer is prohibited under article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption” emphasising that this article does not address gambling operators specifically, and that the context must be taken into account, while ANJ reminded that “If article L. 121-11 is violated, operators can be fined up to €1,500, which could be increased to €3,000 if the violations are repeated”.

Also the regulator stated that refusing bets could constitute deceptive marketing tactics. Article L. 121-2 of the French Code of Consumption defines deceptive marketing in part as: “false or misleading allegations, indications or presentations relating to one or more of the following: a) The existence, availability or nature of the good or service…”. On top of that offenders could receive two years in prison and a fine of €300,000.

ANJ concluded that operators cannot refuse bets from a player, unless the operator has a legitimate reason as designated under article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption. This means that an operator could argue that it has a legitimate reason not to accept a sports bet from a player. 

Of course, there are legitimate reasons not to accept a bet, if, for instance, the bettor is a minor, or a player who has self-excluded or to excessive bettors.

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