UK Online Casinos Hope French Market Extends Growth Spurt
Online casinos operating out of the United Kingdom are looking to the opening of the French gaming market as a way to keep growth going even while domestic markets show some signs of saturation. France has already arranged a structure for regulating online gambling that met approval by the European Commission, after some changes to the initial proposal.
Next, the bill suggesting French rules for Internet casinos will be brought before the national legislature in the first week of October. The law would allow Internet sports betting and online poker to be opened to international competition, meeting EU requirements that licensed EU companies be allowed to compete with domestic operations.
France had previously operated under a state monopoly on gambling, run by the national lottery.
A study by H2 Gambling Capital found that the revenue from online gambling in France would triple over the next two years if the market restrictions were loosened. That would boost sales to close to $1.5 billion.
William Hill, PartyGaming, and 888 are all reportedly eager to expand operations into France, as recession has led to stagnation of growth at home. Most UK operators have seen a leveling, if not decline, in sales related to casino gambling and sports betting, although bingo still is increasing in income generated.
Ultimately, the true draw of French Internet gambling lies in taxation, as rate are yet to be determined. A suggested 2 percent poker tax and 7.5 percent sports betting tax are suggested in the bill.
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