Protective measures following gambling surge
France’s gambling regulator, L’Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL), has ordered operators to stop offering online poker bonuses during the COVID-19 lockdown. The instruction appears in a guidance note it issued following a significant increase in new online poker players over the past few weeks.
refrain from providing consumers with multiple incentives to gamble through bonuses
Because of the restriction of movement in France, ARJEL now requires igaming businesses to refrain from providing consumers with multiple incentives to gamble through bonuses. The regulator also pointed out that gamblers are shifting from sports and horse wagering to poker gaming, owing to a lack of betting options. This has caused an influx of new players.
Operators must remain vigilant
ARJEL also wants gambling firms to remain vigilant as more users log online to play poker. Operators must review customer behavior, especially when they show a loss of control. Any player with a potential issue should be approached and given prevention advice. Ultimately, it said, licensed operators are to offer consumers a way to enjoy poker as a “recreational leisure activity.”
The regulatory body mentioned that there are options in place that allow poker players to restrict their gameplay. Poker rooms offer deposit limits on player accounts plus an option to limit stakes, while some operators already offer play time limits.
all operators will soon be giving customers the option to set time limits on their online poker play
ARJEL said all operators will soon be giving customers the option to set time limits on their online poker play. Players also have the option to exclude themselves from gaming for a limited period.
Strict regulatory changes worldwide
Along with France, other countries around the world are choosing to strengthen gambling regulation. In Spain, the Council of Ministers recently approved temporary restrictions to fast-track a decree amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Spain now only allows gambling advertisements to run from 1am to 5am, while online bonuses are restricted to $100. Reports of an increase in gambling activity led the Consumer Affairs Ministry to work towards better player protections.