Paris, France

French gambling has been told to increase action and safeguards halting the excess spending from gambling consumers. 

Médiateur des Jeux, France’s gambling mediator, united with the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) for a report that sought to shine a light on social responsibility shortcomings in the region. 

The four key recommendations saw Denys Millet, an honorary magistrate and France’s gambling mediator, state that currently French operators are “almost systematically” delaying or rejecting account suspension measures.

Millet emphasised that the measures should be implemented “as soon as the player does not respond to prevention messages, avoids any attempt to contact them or changes his gambling behaviour by increasing his deposits and bets, reflecting a clear loss of control that exposes him to heavy losses”.

This would make it possible to engage in a discussion with the gambler in order to provide better support and identify and support excessive or pathological gamblers.

The other three key recommendations focused on:

  • Refunding players’ accounts in cases of suspected fraud: Suspicions about the authenticity of the documents produced by a player (proof of address, ID card and bank documents) can justify account closure if there is a risk of fraud, but operators should not confiscate players’ deposits unilaterally and must provide “precise factual reasons for their decision”. Closures are allowed if a report of suspicious activity is made to France’s financial tracking unit TRACFIN or if the operator can prove that the bets were placed illegally.
  • Operators’ terms and conditions: The mediator said operators were within their rights to cancel bets if these were placed on the same selection within a short period of time (i.e. six or seven bets in 10-minute bursts), but must be careful not to abuse “potestative” terms, when these are dependent on only one party, the operator, in particular when this applies to winning bets.

Informing players of account closures due to inactivity: Operators are obliged to close player accounts if they have been inactive for 12 months, but should inform them of the closure after 11 months so that players can either decide to play or close their account free of charge.