Shared Liquidity Highlights Three Amendments to France's Digital Bill

Published May 9, 2016 by Lee R

Shared Liquidity Highlights Three Amendments to France's Digital Bill

France's taxation system is the remaining barrier to effective implementation.

In France, the Senate has approved Gambling regulator ARJEL's three proposed amendments to laws governing the country's online gambling activity. 

Sharing Poker Proceeds  

The first of three amendments ARJEL has proposed to the country's incoming Digital Bill call for authorizing ARJEL to sign partnership agreements with countries in the European Union and European Economic Area establishing shared liquidity for online poker.

The shared liquidity amendment would give ARJEL the authority licensed operators that to allow players from all EU or EEA member states to take part in the same games on designated and approved websites.

The French Solution?

ARJEL's first proposal represents the French solution to the ring-fencing controversy. Countries who prevent their poker players from participating in international table games and tournaments have experienced a mass exodus of players and operators from respective markets, leading to precipitous drops that severely dent overall online gambling revenues for ring fencing countries.  At this point, there are only 9 online poker operators left operating in France.

Tax System Integration

The biggest challenge to effective implementation of inclusive circle games looks to be integrating the difference taxing systems of each country. French taxes for instance are gathered at various points within the games, such as on the deal and on the river.

In contrast, Italy, Portugal, and Spain employ standardized tax calculations, based on the percentage of overall gaming revenue taken in. However, the French government shows no propensity towards updating or reforming its online gaming tax system in the foreseeable future. 

Approval Process

The proposed changes in the Digital Bill still have yet to be fully approved.  Following the French Senate’s vote, a similar proposal must presented for approval in vote from the Lower House and other French officials who are likely to approve the changes as well.

The Digital Bill and proposed amendments are expected to become law before the end of 2016, which would out the first shared liquidity agreements between France and other jurisdictions into effect in early 2017. 

First Sharing Candidates

The first liquidity candidates have previously expressed interest in the arrangement with France already. Spain and Portugal indicated to France their willingness before the most recent vote

Other Proposals 

The other two amendments address availability of data and uniform mediation of all gambling-related disputes.

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