ANJ: Operators may not limit stakes without “legitimate reasons”

The regulator reported that it has received complaints from sports bettors in recent months, outlining that operators had refused to take their bets.

On October 21, ANJ released a document outlining deliberation on the issue.

It first stipulates that refusing to provide a service to a consumer is prohibited under article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption. However, ANJ emphasised that this article does not address gambling operators specifically, and that the context must be taken into account.

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.

ANJ also ruled 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…”.

In addition, 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 patron.

Legally defined legitimate reasons include refusing to allow a minor, someone who has self-excluded or an excessive bettor to gamble.

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