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French Online Gambling Reuters report underlines some of the hurdles ahead
4/14/10 - Online gambling sites will not rake in easy winnings from a newly liberalised French gambling market, with high taxes and strict compliance rules eating into margins and a state monopoly retaining the sweetest part of the pie, according to an assessment by the Paris office of the Reuters news agency this week.
The assessment looks at what it describes as a host of offshore online gambling groups vying for a position in the newly opened market by applying for licensing, but points out that the terrain is risky because liberalisation is inadequate: online companies have been shut out of lucrative and low-risk casino games like blackjack and roulette as well as lotto.
"We won't make any money at first. But first-mover is important in this market so we're there," said Mangas Gaming vice-chairman Isabelle Parize, who described the French tax regime as "catastrophic". Companies say the sports betting tax rate, set at 8.8 percent of revenues, will erode profits.
The French regulator, ARJEL, has also put in one of the strictest compliance regimes in Europe and requires all bets to be permanently stored in order to track and fight addiction.
Reuters estimates that online gambling in France could reach Euro 1.25 billion by 2012, the UK consultancy H2 Gambling Capital told Reuters, explaining that around 50 companies are expected to apply for between one and three licences in France.
"We're missing casino games, which is a shame, since they are important to overall financial stability," said Antonio Costanzo, interim CEO of Bwin France. "Let's just say the monopoly will do fine."
Reuters advises that in 18 months the French parliament will review the law and could lower the tax rate then, as Italy did last year when it became clear that punters were not switching to legal sites because they were too expensive.
"The question remains over what role the media companies - with more money, legitimacy and market power than the gaming companies - will play," the report notes, pointing out that so far their entry has been cautious.
Martin Oelbermann at Munich-based consulting group, MECN commented: "You'd better have a good plan. You're betting against your customers. He added that he thought gambling too risky for media companies.
Another question is whether French players will switch to the legal sites and embrace gambling. In 2009, the average French adult lost Euros 171 gambling which H2 Gambling thinks will increase to Euros 192 by 2012. Reuters describes this as modest compared to the average Italian at over Euros 400 and it could take a lot to change French habits.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
New MPN Poker Rooms Tower Torneos -
Impressed with Microgaming, having already integrated with the Quickfire platform to gain access to some of the industry’s best gaming content, Tower Torneos has extended the relationship with poker.<
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