France To Get Online Permits By 2009

Published on: June 7, 2008 

France, in conjunction with the agreements in place with the European Union, will be opening up the market for online betting by the second half of 2009, according to a statement issued by Budget Minister Eric Woerth. The announcement came after meeting with Internal Markets Commissioner Charlie McCreevy in an effort to begin proposals that will keep the country from facing legal action by the European Union over their current online gambling restrictions.

The country has agreed to what they are referring to as a 'controlled opening' of their current gaming sector. Right now, France only has two sectors open, one for horse racing and another for lotteries. While the European Union is waiting to see the details of the proposal before determining whether or not they should proceed with legal action, Woerth positively told reporters, "Being realistic, we're beginning a controlled opening up of online betting, which we have presented to the European Commission.”

France's government is hoping to preserve the revenue of 5.3 billion euros they are currently getting from their gambling sector, but they realize that they may not have the chance with the demands the European Union is placing on them. The legal action against the country has been in place since 2007. Woerth states that a law in France's parliament is set to be presented after their summer break and the formation of a regulatory commission. He is expecting the first approval to be issued in late 2009.

"Regarding horse racing, only parimutuel betting will be allowed," Woerth commented. "For other forms of sports betting, we will hold discussions with leagues and federations. There, we will not have parimutuel betting but fixed odds betting. "We also want to open up casino games like poker but also roulette or black jack," he said.

Minors will be prevented from gambling when the licenses go into effect and the first online gambling establishments go live. The country is also putting protections in place to help gamblers fight addiction. There will also be restrictions on what type of advertising will be allowed and controls set into place to help prevent any money laundering being done through the online gambling websites.

The highest court in the European Union has already declared that online gaming firms that are resisted in a member state must be allowed to operate in the entire 27 country union. If they are restricted, it is being seen as a block on free trade agreements set into place. Free movement of all online services is part of the European Union's treaty, and so far France has been in violation of the treaty stating that consumers need to be pretected and online fraud curtailed.

Other Recent News:
News Archives
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Casino Offers