FranceRights over sporting events and online betting: new rules in France

On May 12 2010, around one month before the opening of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the Law on Online Betting and Gambling (2010-476) was promulgated. This law has one main objective: the liberalisation of online betting and gambling in France. In 2006 the European Commission ruled that the French state monopoly on betting and gambling was incompatible with Article 49 of the EC Treaty, which guarantees the free movement of services. Since this monopoly was not justified by public policy or law and order considerations, the French government was obliged to deregulate the market. After several years of discussion, three categories of online gambling have been opened up to competition in France: horseracing betting, sports betting and gambling. Each of these activities is subject to accreditation by the newly created Online Gaming Regulation Authority (Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL)), which imposes strict criteria on online bookmakers.

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