Online casino bill introduced in France
Bill 1248 would legalise regulated online casino in France.
France.- Philippe Latombe of the Democratic Movement Party, has introduced a bill to regulate online casino in France. Bill 1248, which will be considered by the National Assembly, proposes an initial five-year moratorium during which online casino would be offered only by existing national operators.
Article 2 sets the end of this timeframe as January 1, 2030, after which the market would be opened to international operators. The justification for this organisation is to protect existing operators and allow a stable start for the market before fully opening to competition.
The bill suggests that “if the opening were to be total and immediate, it would upset our regulatory frameworks and weaken the national casino industry and the economic balance of municipalities where it is located. This could then lead to potentially devastating consequences for employment in this sector.”
According to the bill, state and local authorities would tax online casino at the same rate as other forms of gambling.
Online casino in France
Online casino is not currently legal in France, although online sports betting and poker are, as are land-based casinos. Latombe sees a change as necessary due to changing habits leading consumers to prefer to gamble online. The new market would help generate extra tax income.
The bill notes that the “the ban in force against online casinos is reaching its limits, even if the authorities try to identify and block illegal sites using court orders. Faced with these developments, it appears the absolute prohibition is de facto not very protective for consumers. This justifies raising the question of the evolution of the French legal framework in order to adapt to new practices.”
Earlier this month, the French gambling regulator announced that it had rejected six operator action plans on problem gambling, saying it found “little significant progress”. It evaluated plans from 235 racetracks, 203 casinos and seven gaming clubs. Those that were rejected were from five casinos and one gaming club.
For the casinos, the regulator reiterated comments it made last year, insisting the operators make use of monitoring tools while improving internal organisation, staff training and safer gambling information. It said there had been “few significant advances or innovative actions” in the area and intends to publish a practical guide to advise casinos on identifying and supporting potential problem gamblers.