Opening Up the Online Gambling Industry in France

The online gambling scene in France is on the verge of changing irrevocably with the imminent enactment of a new legislation inspired in part from the successful example of the UK and other European countries. It remains a vastly untapped potential for online gambling operators. The liberalisation of the market, which up until now has been controlled by the monopoly of the state-owned Française des Jeux, is under intense scrutiny from the European Commission while at the same time preparing itself for the fast-paced environment of the online gambling world in which operators are already active offering an ever-growing choice of games of chance to the willing French consumer.

In this article I will attempt to cover the key points of the emerging French Gaming Law (which remains to be finalised) by looking at its viability with regards to tax and licensing regimes and how it will affect foreign entrants to the market.

In the interest of the consumers, an essential element of this legislation aims to prevent addiction by fixing limits on wagers and winnings that may be placed or received by punters. With this in mind, operators will be obliged to include warnings about underage playing and the potential risks of excessive gambling.

The opening of the market will encompass horse race and sports betting and shared games of skill, involving the ability of the player to improve his or her chances by adopting a certain strategy in relation to their opponents – such as online poker. Hence, lotteries, online slot machines, betting exchanges and casino games involving playing the bank (blackjack and roulette for example) will be excluded from the opening as they are considered too addictive.

A new independent public authority, ARJEL (Games Regulations Authority) will be set up specifically to regulate the remote gambling market, responsible for:

· Ensuring compliance with policy objectives regarding internet accessible games.

· Suggesting to government specific requirements for different types of licences available.

· Preparing and attributing online gambling operator licence requests.

· Monitoring online operations and clamping down on illegal gambling sites and fraud.

ARJEL will be empowered to block access to such websites through a direct injunction to Internet Service Providers and block such financial transactions.

· Enacting auditing rules concerning technical and financial data for each transaction.

· Making suggestions to Government on legislative and regulatory issues.

· All operators shall be required to provide information and guarantees as to their identification, gambling experience, shareholding, measures taken to prevent fraud and money laundering, secure online payment and protection of data and minors.

· Licences will be granted to operators within Member States of the EU or ECC. Any of these whose headquarters or shareholders are based in so called non co-operative tax havens shall be refused licences to offer their services in France.

· Online gambling internet websites must be accessible through a first level domain name ending in “.fr”.

· A mirror server, based in France, shall contain all data relative to gambling activities and exchanges between players and operators.

· Licences shall be granted for five-year renewable periods and shall be non-transferable.

· The tax rate will be based on amounts wagered by players, according to the following:

8.5% – Sports betting

15.5% – Horse race betting

2% – Online poker

Such taxation based purely on wagers rather than gaming gross revenue is less well suited in the case of poker operators for example, for whom 2% tax on wagers would equate to taxing approximately 60% of gross revenue. This could put operators off entering the market, as well as go against EU regulations of freedom to provide services. However on the whole, France should remain attractive despite the proposed tax regime that might be an obstacle to foreign online gambling operators seeking to enter the French market.

With the implementation of the Draft French Gaming Law, the ARJEL will need a further few months to be efficient and begin granting licenses. According to Senior Government Officials, France will not start granting online betting licenses at the beginning of 2010 as initially thought. Partly as a result of the detailed opinion of the Commission rendered on June 8th, 2009, the Draft French Gaming Law will most likely not be implemented as from January 1st, 2010. In any event, it should be in place for the kick-off of the World Football Cup in South Africa at the latest.

Allez les Bleus!

Choosing the Best Gambling Site

Sometimes, you just get the feeling that the world of online gaming is a bewildering cacophony of flash banners, pop-ups, overloaded menus filled with too much information, and a confusing array of too much promotions and bonuses. This will surely leave you in a dizzy state, trying to make sense of all these online gaming stuff, when all you want to do is play some free casino games or spend a few hours at your favorite card table.

Knowing where to go and how to begin playing online will save players a whole lot of time and money, and it will also allow them to enjoy their gaming experience more. People would think that picking out a gambling site from the myriad of options on the Internet is a simple affair. Perhaps they select their first casino based on who gives the highest payouts, or which one gives the highest stakes. While these factors certainly play a major role in helping you choose your online gaming venue, there are a few other important aspects to keep in mind, some of which may be neglected slots games

Payouts – Since every casino wants to be in on the “Top Ten” list of online casino reviews, finding an online casino with the highest payouts may be a bit difficult. The best thing to do in this case is to go to a well-established gambling resource website and read their reviews for the casinos listed there. You can also check out the winner lists at your favorite casino site, if you already have one in mind. As a rule of thumb, all the better gambling sites have these lists. Plus, if they are a member of the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC), they are required to be truthful of their advertising, which can add more confidence to your decision making.

Downloads – If you’re like me, you don’t like to spend several minutes of your time downloading software without having any idea what they’re getting. And that includes casino software. To help you out, the better casino sites feature a “Preview” page where you can view screenshots or even short videos to give you a better idea what you’re downloading. Some online casinos even provide tutorials for beginners that are just learning how to play. Downloading a software for 10 minutes and realizing that you don’t like it after all can be annoying, to say the least. The “Preview” section will show you beforehand what you’re getting, so look for it and use it before you start downloading.

Licensing – There has been some heated arguments over this issue, but basically, it all comes down to the casino itself. Regulating online casinos can be tough, since it’s pretty much a voluntary compliance issue with them. The casino decides whether or not it wants to be licensed and regulated, or not. For example, an online casino buys a license in Antigua costing $100,000. Now they can say they are “licensed”. But mind you, there will be no more follow-ups and no compliance rules to obey. They don’t have to do this licensing thing at all.

So where does that leave you? Fortunately, there is an organization of online casinos called the Interactive Gaming Council, or IGC. The IGC members are all required to follow their “Ten Points of Conduct”, which requires member casinos to be legally licensed, submit themselves to fair play testing, and maintain strict privacy controls over their clients’ financial information, among other things. Membership is still voluntary, but being an IGC member shows good faith on part of the casino, so the player can get some comfort from this.

The Day I Decided To Stop Gambling With Gamblers Anonymous

Everything was going perfect for me in life. Good job, good home, good life and good friends. Until one day some friends asked if I wanted to go to the casino. By the time I realized it, three years of my life were gone and I was in debt. It was time to quit.

The day I decided to stop gambling I was depressed and relieved at the same time. I couldn’t go on any longer. I thought all my hopes and dreams were shattered. I couldn’t tell anybody what I was going through. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in me. I remember the first day. I was nervous and anxious. I had a hard time focusing at work. This was not my first time trying to quit. I was sure I really wanted to quit, but wasn’t sure if I could quit.

The day I decided to quit I had no where to turn. I found it was difficult to talk to my family and friends about my problem. I began to do research and found Gamblers Anonymous. I wanted to give Gamblers Anonymous a try. I happened to have met a lot of nice people there. They welcomed me into the group and made me feel comfortable. I had tears coming down my face and my anxiety kicked in. I was very quiet buy my emotions were running wild inside. I made it through my first meeting and was somewhat looking forward to the next one. As each week passed new members would join and others would disappear. This became a weekly event. Who was going to come back and who was going to stay?

I continued to go to my Gamblers Anonymous meeting on a weekly basis. I was always afraid some one would recognize me. The turn over was extraordinary. Each week as I entered the meeting my heart began to race until I was sure I didn’t know any of the new members. It was the tenth week and an old co-worker of mine walked through the doors. We hadn’t worked together for over ten years. I thought about leaving but I decided to stay and try and work it out. Unfortunately he did not keep the Gamblers Anonymous code. He had told a friend who told another friend until it got back to me. It was unfortunate, but I dealt with it and moved on.

I and others unfortunately had other situations occur that were not very positive for us at Gamblers Anonymous. I still thank them for putting me on the road to recovery.free casino games slots games