France's 'ARJEL' Reviews Online Gambling Tax Strategy

Published Wednesday, September 07, 2011 -

France has been trying hard to make online gambling a fair and profitable process for operators and players. In the short time online wagering has been liberalized in France a few operators have left the jurisdiction with the good reason they could not compete effectively. While governments are still in the process of regulating and liberalizing their own markets France is already adjusting its regulatory framework to make it more attractive to online gambling operators and patrons.

France through the Regulatory Authority of Online Games (ARJEL) is looking for a way to reduce the tax levied on online poker. Online poker has been regulated in France since July 2010.  ARJEL has proposed  new regulations to the current government of France. There are some 65 proposals for change in the document. A new tax based on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) will effectively make the online poker more attractive to French players.

UMP deputy Jean-François Lamour opposes the changes calling for an across the board tax of 20 percent on all online gambling games, a move not universally liked by operators or players who think this direction reduces competition and therefore profits. The Regulatory Authority of Online Games is suggesting a tax of 25% for poker, 38% and 55% for sports betting and horse betting, a much more equitable solution.

Competition is a big issue for the French regulatory authority and one member of the French parliament is asking for a return rate of 90 percent to the players. This was one of ARJEL’s considerations in order to increase the attractiveness of the French jurisdiction for both consumers and operators. It has been suggested by ARJEL that the current rate of 85 percent return be increased to 95 percent. It has been suggested that the changes will benefit the market substantially. Progressive lawmakers in France are at least considering the needs of consumers and service providers this time round.


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