|According to a report from the Dow Jones business news service, the French Government is still considering the implications of legalising online gambling under strict controls.|
Prime Minister Francois Fillon's office stated late last week that it was in the process of studying a report it commissioned in November into how the virtual gambling market might be opened up in France.
At the moment, all internet-based games involving money are outlawed in France except for those operated national lottery monopoly Francaise Des Jeux and pari-mutuel horse betting monopoly PMU, which offer online betting and scratch cards. However, the Government has come under increasing pressure from the European Commission in the last year to open up its market in order to comply with European Union agreements regarding free competition with other member nations.
The commissioned report identified three possibilities for implementing online gambling in France, issuing licenses limiting Internet betting to sporting events, including betting on card games or licensing all games except lotteries.
Dow reported that the report does not envision wide-open gaming in France and that legalisation of online slot machines would run contrary to the nation’s ‘objectives of common interest’, which includes the protection of consumers from addiction and the prevention of fraud and money laundering.