French Online Gambling Regulatory Update - 9 July 2010
As expected, the Bill to legalise France´s online gambling market to private operators has been approved in a vote in the country´s National Assembly. There was widespread criticism from the country´s oppositing left-wing parties but in the end the Bill passed by a 299 to 233 majority vote.
A target deadline of 1 June has been set by the government to ensure that ARJEL, the new gaming regulator, introduces a formal licensing regime that will be up and running. This deadline is coincide with the start of the FIFA World Cup where France is to take part and large amounts of sports betting activity is expected from French punters.
Offshore operators reported to have secured their entry into the French online gaming market include, PartyGaming (Party Poker) and Paddy Power. Ladbrokes is betting on a joint venture with Canal+, the French pay-TV service. Whereas, SportingBet is reported to have agreed to a tie-up with the centre-right French giant newspaper, Le Monde.
Alexandre Rotenberg LLB, LPC