France Probes Online CasinosPublished March 1, 2007 by OCR Editor
Ever since the United States shut down its doors, banning Internet gambling by Americans, online casinos have been targeting their services and overall marketing efforts at other countries around the world.
The online casinos company 888, namely its former chief executive, John Anderson, has been invited by French authorities to an interview. Although the French market is far from being a large one, compared to other countries where sites operate, the news was enough to hurt the companys stock value. Shares of 888, dealt at the London Stock Exchange, dropped 7.1 percent the day following the report. Other sites have also been hurt by the news, among them those of bookmaker Ladbrokes, which was reported to be in talks to possibly make a bid for 888. Ladbrokes dropped 4.4 percent.
Gambling sites have fared rather well this past year. Even though the closure of the US market was a terrible blow, companies have reported an increase in revenue, with new gamblers joining online casinos elsewhere around the world to compensate for the loss of Americans. 888 is not the only company to be called for an interview by the French. It does have a tie with France that exceeds online casinos services, as it was the sponsor of the Toulouse soccer club until recently. Other online casinos officials that have been interviewed have also had additional ties to France, such as Internet betting firm Bwin, which had a sponsorship deal with AS Monaco.