France, GambleAware Studies Raise World Cup Addiction Concerns

November 15, 2022
France’s gambling regulator (ANJ) launched a new addiction prevention media campaign on Monday, as concerns surrounding the impact of the upcoming FIFA World Cup persist.


France’s gambling regulator (ANJ) launched a new addiction prevention media campaign on Monday (November 14), as concerns surrounding the impact of the upcoming FIFA World Cup persist.

The start of the campaign follows the findings of a new study commissioned by the ANJ and carried out by Harris Interactive to detail the betting intentions of French consumers ahead of the football tournament.

The study, which was formed by the responses of 1,027 people over the age of 18, found 38 percent of people intend to follow the football World Cup, a 10 percent drop compared with the Euro 2020 competition.

However, despite the potential drop in viewership, 50 percent of those that intend to follow the World Cup plan to bet with their relatives, while 36 percent intend to bet money on matches with commercial operators. This figure is a slight increase compared with 31 percent that intended to bet ahead of the 2020 Euros.

“The risks of addiction and dependence associated with sports betting is 73 percent among French people, and by a lower proportion among those who plan to bet money during the World Cup,” according to the study.

In response to the study findings and previous concerns surrounding major football tournaments' impact on French consumers, the ANJ has launched the "You saw, you lost" campaign, which mimics a rap song in delivering punchlines about addiction prevention.

The campaign consists of TikTok and Snapchat content, a radio collaboration and a poster campaign in the Paris metro.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, president of the ANJ, said for the regulator, “it is not a question of demonising sports betting but of conveying to young people, by adopting their codes, a warning message on the risks of excessive gambling, when the practice of sports betting switches to the outside world”.

The announcement by the ANJ comes soon after a range of gambling industry stakeholders in France agreed to rein in advertising and sign-up offers as the FIFA World Cup approaches.

Concerns surrounding advertising led to a call on the gambling industry to “de-intensify” all forms of advertising in February 2022, alongside releasing a series of new advertising guidelines and recommendations.

France is not alone in its World Cup advertising proliferation concerns.

In the UK, charity GambleAware has warned the current cost of living crisis in the UK, mixed with the expected increased gambling advertising during the World Cup, could create a “perfect storm” of addiction-related problems.

The warning follows a study of more than 2,000 football fans, which found 62 percent of fans believe there are too many gambling ads in the World Cup and other international tournaments.

Among those likely to bet on the World Cup, 39 percent said that financial pressures may drive them to gamble more than they intended.

In response to the findings, GambleAware has launched its own campaign, backed by the Football Supporters' Association, to help fans who gamble avoid "Bet Regret" over coming weeks, from setting money or time limits to deleting apps.

Zoë Osmond, chief executive of GambleAware, said: “This should be an enjoyable time for all football fans, but with the sheer volume of football and the amount of betting ads, it can be easy to get carried away with betting — and we can see that many fans are already feeling anxious about this.”

In a press release on October 31, the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) revealed that it had sent letters to licence holders asking them to apply a degree of moderation ahead of the tournament.

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