France Calls Halt to Online Gambling Adverts

Published Friday, May 01, 2009 -

Illegal advertising of unlicensed gaming operations in France are now to be stopped. French Budget Minister Eric Woerth will not be tolerant of advertisements enticing would be gamblers to play.

Radio station Europe 1 has been airing high profile ads for operator BetClic attracting the criticism from the government. In a statement from BetClic it announced over a week after the uproar started that it would do as it was told and pull it's campaign from the air.

Minister Eric Woerth who is the person in charge of making sure all is fair and within the guidelines set out by the new online gaming system in France, declared that advertising by offshore operators "must cease immediately". He made sure everyone heard him say, "the current law is very clear and it needs to be applied. Those websites do not yet have the right to operate in France and the ban also applies to any advertising that they may wish to do."

Trying his best to be in a more conciliatory tone he asked for "a little patience". Noteing that the market will open up to possible future operators after January 1st 2010 when a final vote is taken in the parliament.

As it stands now Française des Jeux and the PMU still have a monopoly in France and can benefit from that position should they wish too. The Minister has suggested the companies will refrain from using their advantage and not advertise for the time being.

BetClic was not very complient at the beginning and ignored the Minister's request to stop it's ad campaign. Finally though making a joint statement with the radio station Europe 1 that they would suspend their advertising campaign, provided other operators both public and private did the same.

"From the moment that all promotional activities, dedicated programmes, sponsorships etc are cancelled we declare are ready to suspend our partnership with the radio station" a BetClic spokesperson concluded.

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