‘French market stifled by regulatory failure’ says former Budget Minister

‘French market stifled by regulatory failure’ says former Budget Minister

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Totally Gaming
Eric Woerth was critical of the country's licensing system

France has failed to create a regulatory framework that allows its gaming market to move with the times according to the politician who introduced the licensed system in 2010.

Eric Woerth told journalists that the country’s gaming sector has been unable to keep pace with progress seen in other jurisdictions, blaming the rigidity of the system that was set up when he was Budget Minister five years ago. 

New figures released by the Autorité de regulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) show regulator that the industry is stalling with online gambling revenue in the three months to September 30 falling 0.3 per cent year-on-year to €176.1m ($192.9m).

"It was not the Eldorado that some hoped and others feared,” Woerth said. “There is no explosion in demand, many operators were surprised.

“There is a gap between the reality of regulation and that of society. The internet is changing all the time, but the regulation clock stopped in 2010.”

In the last quarter, sports betting revenue improved three per cent to €62m as the number of active bettors rose five per cent to 165,000. Horse betting revenue was up by five per cent to €60.1m, race betting turnover was flat at €238m and online poker revenue fell five per cent to €54m.

Earlier this year, ARJEL criticised the high taxation levels that hit operators with a corporation tax of 33 per cent, plus 9.3 per cent of sports betting turnover and two per cent of online poker cash game stakes.

As well as taxation, ARJEL also believes that regulatory pressures have played a factor in the number of licensees dropping by more than 50 per cent in the last five years.
 

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