Online gambling developments in France

We keep an eye on all the online gambling developments in various EU countries. France is one of the European countries where a state has established a monopoly on gambling business. Lately it has been actively dealing with online gambling businesses such a spots betting, internet poker and horse racing. As far as you probably know, online casinos are outside the law on the territory of France compare to UK online casinos that operate absolutely legally. From this article you will find out about all the latest online gambling developments in France.

On the 8th of June ARJEL, that is a state gambling regulatory authority in France, issued a list of companies who had been granted online gambling licenses. All the applicants had to undergo a thorough investigation by ARJEL experts that included all the most significant factors of their operation, e.g bank references, audit reports and so on. 24 companies applied for the ARJEL licence in total, however only 11 applicants received a right to offer their services on the territory of France by present moment. 17 licenses for online horse racing, online poker and sports betting were issued to that 11 companies all together. All other applicants have been put on the pending list. However, ARJEL representatives assure that it doesn’t mean anything bad. It just means that their cases require further and more detailed investigation. Some companies are required to provide some additional information before they can be issued a respective license.

All the companies that have already received licenses for online sports betting and horse racing will probably be able to offer their services immediately. And that’s great as the FIFA Worldcup 2010 is just behind the corner. Licensed companies will be able to receive bets via internet and pay winnings to the lucky players completely legally. As for the companies with poker licensees, they are not as lucky. They will have to wait for another month. The reason is the case filed by Malta gambling jurisdiction to the EU Commission that won’t be settled till the end of June.

The list of licensed companies generally consists of French companies, for example Unibet Enterprises Ltd. company that was issued three licenses in all the respective fields of online gambling and Everest Gaming Ltd. that became a licensed poker provider on the territory of France. No applications have been rejected yet. Among the companies that are still waiting for ARJEL decision are well-known names as Microgaming and 888.com that have not been issued licenses yet. PartyGaming company has applied for poker license and is still on the waiting list.

It’s also worth mentioning, that some companies operating in the online gambling business haven’t applied for the ARJEL at all. Among them are such prominent UK online casinos providers – like Betfair. Representatives of these companies claim that the investigation procedure implemented by ARJEL causes certain distrust as well as general regulations set up in France. These two companies along with Sportingbet have a wait-and-see attitude. They keep a close eye on everything that’s going on in France without much involvement yet.

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