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French gambling reforms criticised by industry leaders
10/26/09 - The long awaited reforms of the French gambling markets have been met with severe criticism from several major gambling consumer organisations and agencies. The long-awaited reforms were passed earlier this month, legalising online gambling and attempting to open the gambling markets, loosening the grip of the state-run bookmaker, Paris-Mutual Urbain (PMU), which had operated a monopoly.
Yet rather than achieving its objectives of opening markets, the reforms have been accused of hampering significant progress. The European Gaming and Betting Association condemned the legislation as it will “worsen the chances of an open market”, while the Remote Gaming Association described the changes as an “unattractive and unviable tax regime”. The criticisms centred on levies imposed on competing bookmakers, which sees the French sports commission collect 1.8% of all industry revenues. Further restrictions exist through the creation of sports betting licences, which enable professional teams to sell the rights to bet on their games to the highest bidder.
The reforms have also been accused of discrimination for outlawing online betting exchanges. Organisations such as Betfair have been banned from the market, as licences will not be granted to individual punters, who are responsible for laying odds under these betting exchange systems. Betfair Managing Director Mark Davies called this decision a “slap in the face for the consumer”.
While the sports betting industry has been reformed under the French legislation, the provisions have further eroded the commitment to open markets by continuing to omit lotteries and slot machines from competing agencies, instead retaining control of the trade by the state bookmaker, PMU.
Consumer groups have strengthened their opposition to such restrictions on the market. The Right2Bet campaign has already attracted 10,000 signatures in its mission to trigger the European Citizens’ Initiative, which would pressure the European Commission to submit a proposal to the Union. The campaign seeks to enforce EU laws on free trade and put an end to the Commission’s tolerance of state governments restricting consumer choice to monopolistic bookmakers, as well as opening up the market to betting exchanges.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
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