French government regulates Internet gambling

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The French government has issued a new bill to regulate Internet gambling, in the near future. The creation of this bill is partially due to pressure from the European Union. The French also acknowledge that Internet gambling is very difficult to battle, but by regulating the gambling market they want to attempt to put an end to the jungle of illegal websites.

The expectation is that between 50 and 100 companies will receive a license; among these are a number of big, well-known foreign companies. It’s also expected that the French government will ask large amounts of money from the license holders in the form of a high gambling tax.

Gambling variations such as sports gambling and poker will be permitted. But, casino games and slots will probably not be permitted. Surprisingly, betting exchange will also be excluded. The world’s biggest betting exchange, Betfair, has voiced great anger about this decision.

Betfair’s managing director, Mark Davies, said "We will consider our position. It is fairly clearly discriminatory against the biggest and most competitive online operator in Europe. It is a slap in the face for the consumer." Betfair is also under fire in England. Research has shown that 10% of players on betting exchanges have a gambling addiction. This is a higher percentage than with traditional bookies.

More and more European countries are in the process of opening their traditional, protected gambling market. The Dutch government recently appointed a commission to research how to regulate the Internet gambling industry in Holland.

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