Ahead of Euro 2024 football tournament

French regulator launches prevention campaign to address risks of gambling addiction in sports betting

Reading time 2:28 min

As the Euro 2024 football tournament approaches, France's National Gaming Authority (ANJ) has initiated a new prevention campaign, designed by Rosbeef! agency, to address the risks of addiction associated with sports betting in France.

In its 2024-2026 strategic plan, the ANJ has focused on a drastic reduction in the share of excessive gamblers within three years as a priority objective. According to the latest studies, more than half of French people plan to follow the Euro 2024 football competition (55%) and of these, more than a third intend to bet money on the matches (35%), and 44% among those under 35.

The authority reported that of the over EUR 4 billion in online bets committed in 2023, football remains the sport with the highest number of bets (52% of stakes) in the country, followed by tennis and basketball. As per the report, 64% of sports bettors are between 18 and 34 years old, and there were more than 4 million active accounts in 2023 with an average annual stake of EUR 1,982 per account.

Going further back, Euro 2020, which was held in June 2021, generated EUR 700 million in stakes (online and at points of sale), whereas the 2022 World Cup recorded EUR 900 million in stakes. Given the evolution of the sports betting market and the stakes recorded during the last competitions, a stake amount approaching EUR 1 billion could be reached.  

The ANJ highlighted that the risks of addiction and dependence associated with sports betting are identified by 8 out of 10 French people (82%), and by a higher proportion of those who plan to bet during the Euro. This level of perception is up 9 points compared to 2022.

The Games Observatory estimated in 2019 that there were 1.4 million gambling players at risk, including nearly 400,000 at the pathological level. Sports betting represents the greatest risk of problem gambling on an individual level. The share of excessive gamblers is 6 times higher than for lottery games (5.9% for sports betting).

For the new campaign, the objective is to make an impression by "bringing to life the legal notices" that appear on gambling advertisements – which the ANJ stated, "few people really look at".

By dedicating a deliberately disproportionate part of the visual to them (the yellow banner takes over) and by telling the real stories of sports betting addiction, the message of the mentions becomes stronger and less theoretical, the authority explained. The signature is as follows: "2 lines at the bottom of an ad will never be enough to tell the story of the spiral of addiction to sports betting."

The messages refer to the Evalujeu site, which allows individuals to evaluate their playing practice and obtain appropriate advice to maintain control. The site also allows them to obtain all the useful information on the support systems and structures available to players and those around them.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, President of the ANJ, said: "Since the excesses of the Euro 2021, gambling operators have become aware of their responsibilities in the fight against excessive gambling and have adjusted their practices. This positive dynamic must continue during the Euro and the Olympic Games and the ANJ will be vigilant on the practices of each."

"In addition to the campaigns carried out by public authorities, the ANJ wishes to make an impact with its campaign which aims to make people understand that legal notices on advertisements are not only a legal obligation but that they contain stories of players' lives, testimonials on the risks to excessive gambling such as those we receive every day at the ANJ," she concluded. 

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