French gambling regulators unimpressed by Wimamax tweet


French gambling regulators were singularly unimpressed with a recent tweet from the French operator Winamax which was perceived by some to be homophobic. Though the regulators ultimately found the company had done nothing wrong in the matter, it stirred up an unwelcome flurry of social media activity that is the stuff of nightmares.

Winamax’s social media troubles began Olympique de Lyon beat Manchester City in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final. As a result of Lyon’s win, they were set to play another French team in the semi-finals. That’s when Wimamax’s social media manager posted up a tweet that superimposed the logos of two French teams on the faces of the twin brothers who make up the hip hop act, PNL. In the background played the group’s hit songs, “Celcisus.” Along the way, a term that in France is perceived as a homophobic slur was used to make a joke – joke that didn’t go over very well.

Once the tweet went viral, Winimax was besieged with criticism from the kinds of people that gambling operators generally don’t like to anger. For example, according to a report on CalvinAyre.com, France’s Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu
likened the tweet to, “vomit.”

Even the French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) got into the act with an investigation. While they found that company hadn’t violated any rules or regulations, they also didn’t seem all that impressed with the company’s excuse that the phrase in question meant that the social media manager was getting some kind of overtime.

In a statement reported on by iGamingBusiness.com, the ANJ said, the tweet was, “not likely to send a signal giving players confidence and conveying an image of a responsible and sustainable market”.

The ANJ went on to remind Wimamax that all gambling operator’s marketing plans must be approved by regulators and that Winamax’s plan was due for review in October.