French Floodgates Open to Online Gambling

Published June 14, 2008 by OCR Editor

French Floodgates Open to Online Gambling

Online operators set to enter the French market as government yields to EU pressure.

The French government plans to open up the online gambling market following pressure from the EU to legalize and regulate the industry.

State monopoly
Online gambling is currently outlawed in France, with the exception of the state-run monopolies: Parimutuel Urbain (PMU) for horse racing and Francaise Des Jeux for lotteries. Despite agreeing to legalize online gambling in France, the government is keen to preserve its revenues from the industry, estimated at $8.27 billion.

Legal pressure
The decision to legislate has been made in order to avert court action by the EU. The European bloc has been pressurizing France to end its state monopoly of online gambling sites which contravenes European law.

New law
In contrast to previous comments on the prospect of legalization French Budget Minister, Eric Woerth, has recently stated that the government had no choice but to back down. A law will be presented after the summer break, an online gambling authority established and approvals of gambling operators expected to commence in late 2009.

Options online
The controlled opening of the French market will include pari-mutuel betting for horseracing, fixed-odds sports betting as well as the introduction of casino and poker games online.

So it's good news for players and operators as another country toes the EU line and opens its gates to the world of online gambling.

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