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French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has announced that it has received complaints from players over sports betting operators refusing to take the bets they wanted to place.

The regulator has now issued a document clarifying that operators cannot refuse bets unless they have a legitimate reason recognised under article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption.

Legitimate reasons according to the law include a customer being underage, having self-excluded or playing excessively.

It noted that article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption prohibits companies from refusing to provide a service to a consumer. The article does not specifically mention gambling and the ANJ recognised that context had to be taken into account.

However, it said that operators could be fined up to €1500 for refusing a service without legitimate reason, increasing to €3000 for repeat breaches.

It also said that the refusal of bets could be considered deceptive marketing tactics under Article L. 121-2 of the French Code of Consumption. Under that legislation, offenders could receive a fine of €300,000 and up to two years in prison.