Author: Ryan D. Jaeger
Although gambling has a long and rich gambling heritage in France, dating
back hundreds of years to a time before Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and the
French Revolution, in recent decades the French government has limited gambling
to a lottery, run by state-owned operation Groupe Francaise des Jeux, and
horseracing, run by state-owned operation Pari Mutuel Urbain. All other forms of
gambling have been illegal, but the evolution of online gambling may have put an
end to that, finally allowing French gambling fans to enjoy online
casino, poker and bingo games as well.
Like most European Union countries, France has always been content controlling
its own gambling industry. However, due to the nature of online gambling where
players can access gambling websites hosted virtually anywhere in the world,
there is the matter of conforming to the online gambling free trade agreements
dictated by the European Commission (EC). But like most EU countries, France is
not particularly eager to give offshore online gambling operators access to its
highly lucrative online gambling industry, which will yield its billions of
Euros in taxes.
The French government has, however, realized that by legalizing and regulating
online gambling in France, it can help prevent underage and problem gambling,
ensure its citizens only visit licensed and reputable online gambling sites, and
help fill its tax coffer. As such, in the last few years it has passed new laws
and online gambling legislation to accommodate online gambling. The
issue, according to the EC, is that the laws have seemingly made it very
difficult for offshore operators to be granted French online gambling licenses.
That and the fact the new online gambling legislation seems to favor
This is of course an issue for the many non-French online gambling operators out
there, who would love to have a crack at the lucrative French gambling market.
In 2008 for instance, total land and online gambling revenue in the country was
reportedly in excess of 70 billion Euros, and is only expected to increase in
coming years. As such, offshore online gambling firms are eager for France to
'tow the EC line' to allow them access to its online gambling industry.
Posted by Ryan D. Jaeger at 10:29 on 25 January 2010