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Online Casino News - Talks Move Towards French Online Gambling

Talks Move Towards French Online Gambling

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

September 14, 2007

France may yet see online casinos made legal. While the push for legalized online gambling in France has been plagued by pitfalls and false starts, it seems like some progress is finally being made. French officials sat down with representatives from the European Union this week in Brussels to discuss the issue of internet casinos, and the French monopoly on online gaming. The EU wants to see all twenty-seven of its member nations reach an accord as to the online casino issue, in order to maintain international treaty obligations for free passage of goods and services. France claims to be amenable towards the issue – but its list of demands is staggering.

Right now, France is only willing to allow sports betting as a medium of online gambling. France currently controls all land gambling, and is reluctant to see offshore internet casinos move in on their gaming monopoly. The only way the nation would consider allowing online, it stipulated, was if any online casino wanting to court French residents set up offices in the country. Furthermore, France’s sovereignty would have to be protected, to some extent. News is that France’s two largest land-based casino operators, Barrière and Partouche, have long wanted to unroll online gambling operations, and are very leery of international online casino groups moving in on their turf.

At least one such competitor, however, has told the EU that, in their current state, the French delegates’ demands regarding online casinos are unrealistic. Nearby nations like Malta and the UK are much friendlier to internet casinos, says Unibet head Petter Nylander. The EU will have to see how it can negotiate with France on the issue, before internet gambling can become a reality.



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