Online Sports Betting Finally Comes To France

Published Tuesday, June 08, 2010 -

After a long and tedious build up to the event, France declared it is open for business to the online gambling customer. France has awarded 17 licenses to 11 operators and just in time for the start of the FIFAWorld Cup Series in South Africa. It is an historical moment in French gambling history and the liberalization in now official. Horse racing, betting on organised sports events and online poker are the newest additions to the offering online for French punters according to an ARJEL announcement in the Official Journal, the Agence France Presse.
A complaint by Malta to the European Commission regarding the definition of "illegal gambling" has delayed the implementation of poker as betting venue until the end of June 2010.
Other wagering on sports and football, could begin almost immediately said regulator ARJEL in plenty of time for the start of the World Cup. An edict of King Francois I in 1539 began a 471 year old state monopoly on gambling.  Gambling has been under the authority of the state which delegated its monopoly to casinos, the national lottery and horse racing body the PMU. The new laws have changed the very face of gambling with the use of the internet consumers are now part of the twenty first century at last.
Vienna based Bwin is the only foreign online gambling operation that has been awarded licenses to provide it's services in France. Starting on 9 June 2010 an online sports betting license gives the French subsidiary bwin Entertainment Services the right to offer online sports betting to French customers.
Co-CEO of bwin Interactive Entertainment, Norbert Teufelberger, said, “We were confident throughout that we would be able to start off in a regulated French market before the World Cup kick-off. In obtaining the license, we have successfully jumped the biggest hurdle,” A poker license was also awarded to bwin and will become active  as soon as the requisite legal conditions have been established in France. As a result, play for money poker will be available in France hopefully soon. 

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