France’s National Assembly is about to examine a bill that has the potential to legalize online casinos within the country. Philippe Latombe, the Democratic Movement party, proposed the bill, known as bill 1248, aiming to establish a regulated online casino market in France.
A key provision of the bill is the implementation of a five-year moratorium. During this period, online casino gambling would be permitted, but only for the “national market participants.” As Article 2, the bill, says the restriction will be effective until January 1, 2030, following which the market will be open to other operators interested in offering online casino services. The primary objective of a similar phased approach is to provide the existing licensees with an opportunity to develop within a stable economic environment before facing full market competition.
The bill underscores the potential risks associated with an immediate and unrestricted opening of the market. It highlights concerns that such a move could disrupt regulatory frameworks, pose threats to the national casino industry, and upset the economic balance in communities where physical casinos are established. These consequences may have severe implications for employment within the sector. By implementing the phased approach, the bill will mitigate the said risks.
Article 1, the bill, primarily focuses on authorizing operators to provide online casino games comparable to those found in land-based casinos. Additionally, Article 3 states that online casino games would be subject to the same dues and taxes payable to the government and local authorities as other forms of gambling.
Bill 1248 takes into consideration the evolving tastes of players, focusing on the stronger demand in online gambling options. It recognizes that the current prohibition forces consumers to turn to unlicensed offshore websites that may fail to provide adequate protection for the gamblers.
By legalizing online casinos and issuing licenses to approved operators, the bill argues that a safer environment for players can be created. Additionally, the bill insists that the regulated market will contribute to increased tax revenue for the country. The bill points out that the current ban on online casinos has its own limitations, even despite the efforts taken to identify and block illegal sites based on court orders. Given these developments, the bill says the absolute prohibition fails to adequately protect consumers, thus justifying a review of the French legal framework to adapt it to evolving practices.
It is important to note that since the bill is currently undergoing the legislative process, it is subject to potential amendments while it progresses through the legislative process.