ANJ orders French licenses to review problematic T&Cs 

French online gambling operators have been instructed to identify and remove ‘problematic clauses’ related to customer terms and conditions.

The command has been issued by Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s unified gambling authority, as a part of its review of ‘general clauses’ used by online gambling operators.

The review was initiated due to customer complaints submitted to Mediateur des Jeux en Ligne’ (Mediateur) regarding the validity, context and content of certain clauses.

Established in 2019, Mediateur provides an independent dispute moderating service between French online gambling consumers and licensed operators, including monopoly incumbents FDJ (national lottery) and PMU (French horseracing).

The ANJ seeks to achieve a ‘satisfactory level’ of legal compliance on the general clauses of gambling operators – without the need to standardise a ‘contractual obligation’ on licensees. 

As such, the review focused on identifying and removing illegal, ambiguous, or potentially problematic content from clauses.

French operators have been instructed to remove or revise content or clauses which unfairly limit operators’ liability and restrict a customer’s right to compensation.

General clauses cannot hinder a customer’s “exercise of legal action’,  such as those requiring the player, in the event of a dispute, to refer the matter to a court other than that of his place of domicile.”

Related to customer disputes, operators cannot restrict means of proof available to customers or impose a limited period to challenge disputes.  

ANJ and Mediateur identified the removal of clauses that unfairly limited players’ rights, including those that exempted operators from liability, restricted legal actions, limited evidence in disputes, shortened claim periods, allowed unjustified bet limitations and reduced payouts unfairly in certain outcomes.

Tighter monitoring of terms and conditions is required to ensure fairer and more transparent gaming conditions, addressing concerns over legal jurisdiction, evidence access, claim timelines and fairness of payouts.

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