France Caves Into EU Pressure: Will Legalize Online Gambling

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Mar/06/2009
France

France, which has long been against legalized online gambling, has finally conceded to European Union pressures.  The country announced Friday it's plans to open the marketplace for external online gambling enterprises. 

"The news is likely to help boost share prices in online gambling firms come Monday," expressed Jagajeet Chiba, Business writer for the Gambling911.com website.  "These companies are always looking to expand in various markets and France is a lucrative one to be sure."

"[It's] no use denying the reality of online gambling and the expectations of French people," French Budget Minister Éric Woerth said.

While the measure represents the government acquiescing to pressure from the European Union to introduce competition in the sector, the gambling sector said the move does not go far enough, according to a Financial Times report.

Plans for a new online gambling bill are to be submitted to cabinet by the end of March.

The European Union has also been applying pressure on the United States to open its market to outside i-Gaming firms like William Hill and Ladbrokes. 

Operators will be required to provide measures that prevent children from gambling online and control addiction. The illegal online industry is worth around €7bn ($9bn) and comprises 25,000 sites, said Mr Woerth.

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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