New Regulation for Online Gambling in France

The French National assembly approved a law last week, regulating online gambling in France, including casino and poker games. According to the law online gambling operators who will receive license will legally operate in France. 

This law, which basically legalizes online gambling in France, could have been registered as a huge step for the online gambling industry. However, two clauses in the law impose some severe conditions on operators wishing to receive a license. 

The first condition forces operators to close existing French accounts for a period of 6 months. This means that operators wishing to obey this condition will in fact have to close their operations in France before they can legalize them. This will lead to huge losses, especially for operators which are focused on the French market, like bwin. 

The second condition stipulates that only operators which don’t have any presence in tax havens like Gibraltar will be eligible for license. This condition excludes from eligibility some of the major players in the global online gambling industry, including online casino operator 888.com and poker operator Partypoker.com. 

These conditions will not apply on French operators Francaise des Jeux and Pari Mutual Urbain. This brought other European based operators to claim that the law is discriminating and anti competitive. 

If the law is approved by the French Parliament, It will come into effect at the beginning of 2010.