03/13/2012 : ITALIAN POKER GIANT BAILS ON FRANCE
No reason given, but high taxation the likely cause for exit before the French company even began operations
The giant Italian online gambling company Microgame, awarded an ARJEL licence for its People's Poker and People’s Bet to operate in France over a year ago, has withdrawn from the market without even opening its virtual doors.
No explanation was given for the decision, although in July last year CEO Fabrizio D'Aloia warned that despite his company's success in obtaining sports betting and poker licenses, it was holding off on the operation until the excessive tax situation was reviewed.
D'Aloia told Inside Poker Business back then: ""The French market is not currently profitable and we are looking at the right time to jump in."
Microgame, which went to some expense to obtain French licensing and opened an office on the Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris, works with a number of smaller, local land-based partners who introduce players to the game through retail locations and act as a bridge between the online and offline worlds.
Operator complaints regarding the excessively high tax costs of operating in France have been rife, and recent news that sports betting in the market has declined will not have improved optimism.