French regulator orders Winamax to withdraw advertising campaign

French gambling regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has ordered Winamax to withdraw one of its marketing campaigns after ruling it breached national advertising laws.

According to ANJ, Winamax’s ‘Tout pour la Daronne’ campaign portrayed that sports betting could contribute to personal success and enhance a consumer’s social status.

ANJ picked out how the campaign showed how a man improved his own and his mother’s lives after winning money from a sports bet.

A decree that came into effect in France on 4 November 2020 prohibits operators from portraying that gambling can improve a player’s, or their family’s, life in adverts or marketing materials.

ANJ in particular singled out Article D. 320-9, 2 of the code, which states “any commercial communication in favour of a gambling operator is prohibited when it suggests gambling contributes to social success”.

In line with this, the regulator said it this means operators must not associate gambling with the possibility of a player changing their social status, having extraordinary experiences or accessing services usually considered as reserved for very wealthy people.

The ANJ added that “hyperbolic” adverts are permitted provided that they do not have the effect, through the use of emphasis, parody or grossly exaggerated staging, of infringing the provisions set out in Article D 320-9 of the Homeland Security Code.

As such, the ANJ concluded Winamax’s advert breached the law and ordered all material associated with the Tout pour la Daronne campaign be withdrawn within one month of the ruling (17 March).

This ruling, ANJ said, is the first time it has used its powers to order an operator to halt an advert.

Author: Raymond Fleming