11/18/09 – Following rapid expansion in the recently liberalised Italian market, skill gaming developer GameAccount has formally launched its French network and submitted an application for a licence in that country, which is due to open up its market next year.
 
France is to become the second major European country after Italy to set up a new gaming environment in which licences are awarded and taxes paid locally – whilst those not licensed are effectively banned.
 
GameAccount’s first French deal was announced earlier this month – an innovative white-label agreement to provide international sports and lifestyle firm Born.com with GameAccount’s portfolio of skill games including dominoes, multiplayer blackjack and backgammon.
 
The French version of the site is due to go live on 1st December.
 
GameAccount hopes to replicate its success in Italy, which has seen the company secure licenses with over 60 percent of the country’s sports betting, scratch and poker operators including SNAI, Sisal and Cogetech as well as national lottery operator Lottomatica over the past year.
 
Following an example set in Italy with popular local games such as Briscola and Sette e Mezzo, GameAccount plan to offer localised games to the French market, such as Belote, slated for development next year.
 
Launch activity in the new territory will be spearheaded by Eric Guedj, GameAccount’s newly appointed France country manager. He will be responsible for local business development and government liason. Eric has a long history in international gaming, having launched the World Series of Backgammon in 2006 and most recently in his role as project manager for Partouche Interactive.
 
“It’s a very exciting role and I’m pleased to be working with GameAccount at such an important time both for the company and for French skill gaming in general,” commented Guedj. “The success with which the Italian network developed puts a lot of pressure on us to achieve a similar rate of growth, but it’s a challenge that we are confident about and very well equipped to meet.”
 
“This strategy of setting up local partnerships in the new jurisdictions, especially with major incumbent organisations, like SNAI and our other partners in Italy, is to be rolled out across Europe in line with new gaming policies,” said Kevin Dale, GameAccount CEO. “The French territory is our next priority and Eric will be working with potential partners and the French government to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. We have every belief that our portfolio of skill games will be as popular as they are elsewhere – if not more so.”