Posts Tagged ‘gambling online’

Online gambling sued in France

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

French authorities and some privileged private interests did not rejoice when online gaming companies came to directly compete with the French old-timer gambling operations such as Française des Jeux and PMU or some brick & mortar casinos.

This is why they are suing the largest online gambling operators for illegally providing online casino games to the French public.

A group of live casino operators including Joagroupe, Barrière and Tranchant which between themselves own and manage more than one hundred casinos are suing 888, Unibet, SportingBet and Bwin in the Paris Criminal Court. A trade union has also joined the ranks of the defendants.

The litigation claims that these online gambling companies violate the exiting gambling laws prohibiting licensed gambling operators from promoting and running online casino games in the French market. Under the current French law only sports betting is permitted.

This lawsuit is an obvious attempt to curtail competition before the online gambling market opens up in France once a new legislation is ratified. As the market is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros annually, if the judges sentence these four companies, they may lose their license for two years and not be allowed to compete during the time frame when the market opens up.

Meanwhile a key legislation drafted to legalize online gambling in France just passed through the French Senate on a first reading with a margin of 181 votes “for” versus 140 “against”. The second reading will occur at the end of the month. Then if everything goes well, this law needs to be ratified by the European Union, the French Supreme Court, the French Constitutional Council and finally getting signed into law by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

There could still be a few bumps on the road to a clearer legal landscape for online gambling and betting in France.

There as in other geographical locations including the United States (ask Obama for poker), Governments are pressured to use all possible means to find new ways to supply the State coffers with much needed novel sources of cash. And online gambling is a prime candidate for this task, given the massive expected profits for online gambling companies and the insatiable appetite for games from the public