The proposal to authorize online poker liquidity sharing with other jurisdiction has been rejected once again by the politicians in France.
The ARJEL, France’s online gambling regulator failed to convince the French National Assembly to allow French player pools to be able to play in other licenced European markets.
Currently the law adopted in 2011, allows international players to play on French site (.fr), however players living in France are not allowed to play on international sites. This policy of segregation restrains the market.
After the initial proposal was rejected a year ago, France’s Minister for the Economy Industry and Digital Affairs said he was willing to work with the French online gambling regulator to solve this issue. Since then there was optimism about the possibility of change.
At the time, Emmanuel Macron, France’s Minister for Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs said the following:
“We are currently working on it with ARJEL with a view [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][to including the amendment in] to the draft digital law. It is in this perspective that we want to treat the subject”
A revised amendment was elaborated and it proposed that players living in France would be able to play on international sites in jurisdictions that offered a similar level of regulatory protection.
However, once again the amendment did not pass. The National Assembly voted against it. The same happened in 2013, when the Assembly voted against a similar measure proposed by Jean François Vilotte.
Some French politicians failed to see the bigger picture, and opted for a construction that is cannibalizing itself.
According to the ARJEL report, online poker cash games in France dropped by 14% to $3.65 billion and the total revenue fell by 4% to $252 million. In one year the number of active customers also declined by 4%.
While Poker’s figures declined last year, there was a rise in sports betting; it increased by 30% to $1.56 billion according to ARJEL.
Besides France’s policy of segregation, its punitive tax regime also contributed for the decline of the online poker market. France charges a 33% tax on gross revenue and it also taxes every single hand of poker.
For that reason the regulated market is unable to offer as good promotions and bonuses as the unregulated offshore market does and also sites regulated in France are force to charge a high rake.
This new rejection definitely won’t help the already declining online poker market in France.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]