Gambling Code

Gambling Code

Preamble

This Code contains ethical rules that the industry (advertisers, agencies, media) creates and commits to with regards to advertising for gambling allowed in the French market in order to take into account social responsibility concerns.

It aims to reconcile freedom of expression in advertising and the protection of the public, in particular vulnerable groups.

The scope of this Code covers (cumulative criteria):

  • Gambling advertising [1] , accompanied by monetary gains or in kind, wholly or partly based on the chance or uncertainty of an outcome, games accessible online or offline.
  •  Ad content promoting gambling, whatever their form and format, and regardless of their media;

Only operators authorized to operate in France can broadcast advertising, or run advertising broadcast by someone else, that targets  the French public, insofar as it concerns games allowed.

In addition to the provisions of the applicable laws and all ARPP Codes, gambling advertising, in no matter what form, must follow these ethical rules

1. General principles

1.1 Identification, truthfulness, loyalty

The Code of the International Chamber of Commerce on Fair Practices in Advertising states that: « the Marketing communication should be designed in order to not abuse the consumers’ confidence nor exploit their lack of experience or knowledge » (Article 3).

Singularly:

a / Gambling Advertising should be clearly identified as such, regardless of the form in which it is shown.

This identification can be done by all means, clearly noticeable and allowing the consumer not to mistake on the nature of the advertising.

b / The advertiser who made the ad must be clearly identifiable. This identification must be readable and accessible to all consumers.

c / Ads for Gambling in any form whatsoever, must be clear, honest and truthful.

d / Advertising should enable the consumer to identify, directly or indirectly, that the ad comes from an advertiser which is officially authorized by the French authorities to commercialize the advertised game.

1/2 Social values

« All marketing communication should be made with a due sense of social and professional responsibility »

Article 1 of the International Chamber of Commerce Code on Advertising.

Thus, Gambling ads should not, in any way whatsoever:

a / undermine human dignity;

b / devalue efforts,  work,  education, compared to gambling;

c / present family or social relationships as secondary compared to gambling;

d / incite uncivil, violent or illegal behavior;

e / exploit feelings of fear or pain;

f / denigrate the public who do not play or, inversely, confer social superiority to those who play;

g / present behaviors or representations that are against the commonly accepted principles of environmental protection and preservation of natural resources.

1/3 Protection of minors

In addition to complying with the ARPP “Child” Code, gambling advertising should not target young audiences (children or adolescents), given the legal prohibitions to which they are subject.

To this end, the advertising of Gambling should not, in any way whatsoever :

a / represent a young audience purchasing a gambling related product or in the act of gambling, even if they are accompanied by adult (s);

b / suggest that young people can play these games;

c / use elements – visual, sonorous, oral or written – making them specifically appealing to minors;

d / present gambling as a sign of the transition to adulthood;

e / present gambling as a gift a child can give or receive.

1/4 Responsible gaming

Gambling advertising should not promote, trivialize or encourage a practice of excessive play, immoderate, likely to put the player in financial, social or psychological peril.

To this end, Gambling advertising should not, in any way whatsoever:

a / suggest that the player wins every time, or that the repetitiveness of the game will necessarily make him  win or that increasing gambling frequency increases the probability of winning;

b / suggest that the skills of the player and his experience will enable him to eliminate the chance or the uncertainty on which the game depends. Even for sporting or racing tips, where expertise can intervene, advertising should not suggest that this will allow the player to win systematically;

c / associate repetitive game situations, uncontrolled, compulsive or excessive bets to strong emotions;

d / represent behaviors of a compulsive gambler, as defined by medical authorities, in a positive way;

e / incite excessive risk-taking that would put the player in difficulty;

f / present the game as a way to recover gambling losses;

g / suggest that the game is a way to solve financial difficulties, temporarily or permanently;

h / present the game as an escape from facing personal, professional or psychological difficulties;

i / present the game as a way to earn a living rather than as an entertainment;

j / give the impression that excessive gambling losses could be without consequence, regarding the player’s situation;

k / present a credit offer at the same time as the presentation of a game.

To highlight promotional offers must be done responsibly, for the sake of moderation, transparency and good consumer information, especially in terms of counterparty and / or commitment expected from him.

2. Advertising on new media

Gambling advertising broadcasted on digital media, in whatever form, must respect the laws that apply to these materials and the ethical rules of ARPP.

Extra vigilance will have to be taken with respect to the following, valid for all electronic communications:

  • The person who receives electronic advertising for gambling must be able to close it easily. In no event should signs generally used to end advertising ( eg. X) produce the opposite effect and thus open the publicity when activated.

The recipient of a message sent electronically shall also be able to request not to receive advertising from this advertiser.

  • The conditions governing the Gambling offers promoted in the messages disseminated electronically must be clearly defined and easily accessible either directly in the advertisement, or by direct access via a link.

Moreover, given specific responsibility issues concerning the gaming sector :

  • An advertiser agrees not to target an ad for Gambling through electronic media on players who have activated a self-exclusion clause of this game, and for all the duration of this self-exclusion;
  • Electronic games for advertising purposes (advergames), promoting Gambling in the form of simulation, must be designed with a due sense of social responsibility. These simulations ads should not give the impression of unrealistic winning probabilities. Hyperbolic and off the wall presentations should appear clearly as such.

First version, june 2009.

[1]

This Recommendation does not apply to sweepstakes in advertising, covered by the Consumer Code (articles L121-36 and following) or lottery covered by the law of 21 May 1836.