Maltese Online Gambling Firm Pushing Limits in France

Published Monday, October 05, 2009 -

France's free daily newspaper, Metro, recently ran a full page advertisement for the Maltese licensed online betting provider Zeturf. This so called press release has caused a stir in the French governments usually dignified National Assembly.

The full-page advert in Metro emphasised the prestigious horse race, the 88th Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which took place on Sunday at Longchamp. It highlighted the better odds offered on horseracing, by the online gambling operator. In response to the rather large announcement, the Budget Minister for France, Eric Woerth, pointed out there is currently a prohibition on advertising by operators of online gambling firms that are as yet unlicensed in that country.

Woerth told the Associated Free Press that he looked at the publication as "advertising in disguise". The Minister has stated previously that the government of France will not disregard marketing activities by online gambling groups when France makes the decision as to which operators will receive licences to offer their products. This warning is obviously been ignored by Zeturf and sends a message to the government that they want some of the gambling action and will not be deterred from that goal. It would appear that this is short term thinking by the online gambling outfit.

France's proposed gambling bill will be presented to the National Assembly very soon but online gambling companies are all chomping at the bit and becoming increasing aggressive with their marketing and sports sponsorship deals to get attention and market share ahead of proposed legalization in France early in 2010.

At the end of 2004 Zeturf was bought by a Maltese company in order to create a parimutuel website on the main international horse races. Launched in June of 2005 the Zeturf offering is a great success with a redistribution rate of 95%. The eighteen employees at Zeturf handle approximately 35,000 patrons that bet on the horses in over thirty countries.

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