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Online Betting to be Legalized in France as of 2009

According to the Budget Minister of France, Eric Woerth, an agreement has been reached between France and the European Union whereby the country will open its doors to the online betting industry as of June 2009. The announcement comes after a meeting held this week in which Woerth and Charlie McCreevy, the Internal Markets Commissioner, discussed possible consequences that would face France if it chose to restrict online betting. By doing so, it would be abusing EU laws and this would bring France to the European Court of Justice.

Woerth told reporters that France will begin a controlled opening of online betting which will be comprised of two monopolies; the Francaise Des Jeux for internet lotteries, and the PMU for horse-race wagering. Yet the EU will suspend legal proceedings only when it receives detailed provisions of the plans.

Woerth added that there was no other alternative to complying with EU demands, and that the country has been targeted for proceedings since June 2007. As a result, a law will be presented in late 2009 that will allow regulated online betting in France, the first approvals of which to be issued in June 2009.

Only pari-mutuel online betting will be allowed for horse racing events, meaning that the final prize pool for a given event will not be determined until all bets for the event have been placed. Other forms of online betting have not yet been discussed, yet the possibility of playing online casino games such as Roulette and Blackjack have been welcomed positively.

OCA News Editor