FRENCH REVIEW OF ONLINE GAMBLING LIBERALISATION
15th March, 2011 at 05:56:57
March debates take place against a background of complaints regarding high taxation and tough restrictions
It's been almost a year since the French government liberalised the nation's online gambling market, regulated by ARJEL and the subject of something of a gambling gold rush as industry operators and suppliers went after licenses, although several major companies held back, citing complaints regarding the tough restrictions and high taxation imposed on operators.
On March 22 and 25 the issues involved will again come under the microscope as two conferences take place at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris, and the Marriott Hotel Neuilly respectively, where discussion and debate on the liberalisation and its consequences will be held.
The March 22 gathering is under the patronage of the French Minister of Budget, Public Accounts, Civil Service and State Reform, François Baroin, supported by Senator François Trucy and Deputy Jean-François Lamour.
ARJEL will be at the centre of the debate, which will encompass licensing criteria, enforcement and approval procedures among a host of other issues.
Insiders report that the review will set the scene for a more definitive and decisive 'clause revoyure' process required by the liberalisation legislation and scheduled toward the end of 2011. This year end, wide-ranging exercise will examine and base decisions on every aspect of the liberalisation initiative from tax, regulation and law to social impacts.
The 25-26 March conference is organised by iGaming France and will have a more 'professional' or b2b emphasis, giving industry players an opportunity to meet and network in the French market. High level panels will involve senior executives from gaming companies and media groups, heads of regulatory authorities and leaders of French and foreign associations.
Jean-Franois Vilotte, president of ARJEL, and officials from the French Competition Authority will be on hand to debate the state of the French market and its economic viability, along with risk assessment and fair competition.
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