French national lottery and betting operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) has launched a responsible gambling campaign ahead of the FIFA World Cup, aimed at discouraging young people from betting.

The campaign targets retailers, parents, teachers and gamblers, and features the popular TV presenter and 1998 World Cup winning French footballer Bixente Lizarazu.

Under the strapline 'When under 18, Sport we live it. But to bet, forget it!', the campaign includes a YouTube viedo featuring Lizarazu in which an underage gambler asks adults to validate his bet slip for him because he is too young. After showing off his football skills with the rolled up bet slip, Lizarazu advises the boy that he may be "too young to bet, but not too young to play sport".

The ad will appear on YouTube and partner websites of FDJ such as the Foundation for Football in France. The campaign logo will also feature in all of FDJ's sports betting advertisements during the World Cup, on more than 25,000 TV screens in FDJ retailers, and during coverage of French football cup games in the 2014/2015 season.

FDJ said it is treating the campaign as a test that will help the company identify the most effective means of preventing underage play. It follows FDJ's roll-out of an unbranded support kit which retailers are expected to give to underage people who try and place a bet, explaining that underage gambling is illegal and promoting sporting values instead.

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