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France

Parliament adopts bill to legalise online gambling

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-04-06

France’s National Assembly has passed a bill to legalise online gambling and open up the French market to international operators. French laws regulating online gambling are among the strictest in Europe.

France’s National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to legalise online gambling and open up the French market to international operators.

The bill, which is expected to become law in time for the World Cup in South Africa to take place from June 11 to July 11, had already been passed by the French Senate in February.

The law will also prohibit minors from online gambling and reinforce measures targeting illegal gambling Web sites.

“This law will allow us to gradually purify the black market of online gaming by creating a legal alternative", Budget Minister François Baroin said.

Opposition parties on the left opposed the law and are looking for ways to have the law overruled by the Constitutional Court. “We have never examined a bill under such obvious and intense pressure from lobbies expecting a new law to satisfy their financial interests”, Socialist Gaëtan Gorce said.

French laws regulating online gambling are among the strictest in Europe, allowing two state-run organisations, PMU and La Française des jeux, to enjoy a monopoly over the gambling sector.

The online gambling market, which generated nearly 800 million euros in France in 2008, will likely draw a variety of players -- online bet organisers, sports clubs, and advertisers – to compete with PMU and La Française des jeux.

Date created : 2010-04-06

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