French Will Deliver Online Gambling Licenses Before World Cup

Published Monday, May 31, 2010 -

The French online gambling regulations are slowly but surely making progress as they are becoming a reality. RapidTV reports that online gambling regulator ARJEL has inspected the applications of 20 major online gambling operators who are trying to obtain one of the 30 licenses available. ARJEL issued a positive statement that it will "deliver first agreements to operators in the first two weeks of June." Just in time for the wagering to begin on the World Cup Football Tournament in South Africa.

Some operators have applied for multiple licenses such as Bwin which has applied for a sports betting and poker license and BetClic which has applied for a sports betting, horse racing and poker license. Betfair and William Hill have obviously not applied for any licences in France and have discontinued accepting bets from punters in France at least for the time being.

Betfair's director of European public affairs, Tim Phillips, commented on the decision to cut service to French customers, "Though it’s not impossible for a newcomer to create a commercially viable business, most projections show it will be very difficult to do so, given the proposed restrictions imposed on license holders." These new rules in France provide average returns to players considered to be less than those offered in other markets in Europe and are seen as not competitive. The Betfair company will take the time to think about a restructure of it's operation in order to comply with the new French regime.

William Hill another large online gambling operator from the U.K. issued a statement on the issue saying, "In conjunction with the changes to the regulatory regime in France, William Hill Online is considering whether to apply for a license to offer permitted online gambling products to French residents."

Microgaming, a major software provider for online gambling mentioned that it has submitted applications for three operator licenses, two of which are part of a joint venture with 888 Holdings plc.. The CEO of Microgaming, Roger Raatgever, said, "This is a milestone for us and marks the beginning of our first wave of applications, which we believe will see us rapidly establishing ourselves as market leaders in France."









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