AFJEL Assesses French Online Gambling Needs

Published Thursday, June 11, 2015 -
 AFJEL Assesses French Online Gambling Needs

It is obvious in some cases that the online gambling industry in certain jurisdictions requires an in depth review in order to facilitate growth and maximize the activity to its full potential. The Association Française du Jeu en Ligne’s (AFJEL) in France has done a five year assessment and has come to the conclusion that, “it is a mixed picture that emerges from these five years of activity for the entire industry whose situation is still very fragile and whose future is still uncertain”.

The organization’s main objectives were the prevention of problem gambling, and the insurance of the integrity and transparency of sporting events and gaming operations. It also wants to maintain the battle against money-laundering and the financing levels of sports federations and clubs. These basic objectives had been achieved for the most part.

Some problems in the regulatory system have been recognized by AFJEL such as efforts to reduce the availability of illegal and unlicensed sites had not been effective. There were other issues the industry should be dealing with such as the high tax levels and limited offerings for poker and sports betting. Competition in online horse racing pari mutual betting was found lacking with the PMU owning 85 percent of the market.

The tax levels for licensed online betting operators were compared to other E.U. countries with France at 46% of gross profits, compared with 11% in Belgium, 15% in the UK and 20% in Denmark. It was revealed in 2013 that 45 percent of consumers in France played at unlicensed web locations offering online casino games and that the sector should be more regulated in order for the government to recoup taxes from the sector.

The association is asking the French authorities to change the tax regime to reflect a more competitive jurisdiction and to switch to a gross profits tax. Other changes include expanding and optimising the regulations regarding poker, sports betting and online casinos.

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