Bill To Legalize Online Casino In France To Be Reviewed By French National Assembly

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Earlier this week, Bill 1248, a legislation that could lead to the official legalization of online casino in France, was presented by Philippe Latombe of the Democratic Movement party, and is now awaiting review by the French National Assembly.

Preparing the ground for the opening of a regulated online casino market in France:

With its introduction, Bill 1248, has already begun to prepare the ground for the official opening of the regulated online casino market in France. Moreover, the main proposal of the legislation is for a “five-year moratorium”, which would make online casino gambling legal for a five-year period, but only for “national actors.”

However, Article 2 of the legislation emphasizes that this measure would last till January 1st, 2030. After the expiration of the time, the market would expand past existing casino license holders and open to other operators who also want to offer an online casino experience to players. In addition, the bill states that “this would allow existing licensees to develop in serene economic conditions before the market fully opens. If the opening were to be total and immediate, it would upset our regulatory frameworks, weaken the national casino industry and the economic balance of the municipalities where it is located. This could then lead to potentially devastating consequences for employment in this sector.” As for the Article 1, it refers to allowing operators to offer online casino games, similar to the games offered in land-based casinos. At the end, there is Article 3 which states that online casino games “would be subject to the same levies operated by the state and local authorities for other forms of gambling.”

Players want to switch to online gambling:

Currently, any form of online casino is not legalized in France, even though internet sports betting and horse racing wagering are allowed via approved operators, and licensed land-based casinos are officially legalized. However, it does not correspond to the aforementioned Bill 1248, because it states that “the changing habits of players means that their preference is now to gamble online.” However, with illegal online casinos, players are forced to gamble with offshore, unlicensed sites that expose them to risk.

In this regard, the bill states: “Legalizing online casinos and issuing licences to approved operators would help create a safer environment for players. This market would also help generate additional tax income for the country. 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 that the absolute prohibition regime 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 it to new practices.”

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