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Key features, strengths and weaknesses of the French legal gaming offer
Autore: Redazione MAG Data: 8 ottobre 2013 Commenti: 0
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In 2011, the French and Italian regulatory models pursued their markedly different approaches to the market and measures to combat the black market.
The French regulatory model did not change from the 2010 system despite intensive evaluation and proposed modifications. The possible changes that might occur in 2012 do not affect the two main factors that make the French model ineffective in combating the black market, i.e. the width of the portfolio and taxation of bets.
As a result, the regulated French market retained the ability to intercept the demand for poker in 2011, however while its ability to attract demand for sports betting decreased, as confirmed by the data published by ARJEL (French regulatory body “Autorité Régulation des Jeux de En Ligne”) on the 17% decline in bettors in the last quarter of 2011. The latter aspect confirms the claims about the difficulty that sports betting – when regulated as in France – would have in effectively reducing the black market to the benefit of the regulated offer. In addition, there have already been cases of operators abandoning the market as further confirmation of the limited competitiveness of the regulated product.
On the other side of the spectrum, Italy has pursued the opposite path by continuing to increase the market by1) expanding the product portfolio (cash poker and casino games other than slot machines and since 2012 also betting on virtual events and betting exchange) and 2) introducing a new concession scheme for online gaming which is also open to operators not originating in the gaming industry.
The intent is to further strengthen the regulated online gaming market by making the offer on the black market much less visible than that advertised by major gaming brands and industry outsiders. At the same time, the intensive action taken to address the problem of match fixing should also be emphasized.
In conclusion, the two paths achieved different results in combating the black market. The French model seems unable to reduce the black market except for poker, as demonstrated by the negative trend of sports betting. Unlike the French model, the Italian model creates a regulated space in open competition, with the aim of reducing the black market within a modest (physiological) size. The entry of the majority of international operators into the regulated online market in Italy, with no significant cases of withdrawal from the market due to lack of income prospects, confirms the industry’s overall appreciation of and support for the goals that the Italian regulator is striving to achieve.

14 – MAG Report on French regulatory framework

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