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CR82-p04-Europe W1:SJC-Casino Review 26/7/09 09:36 Page 1
Valencia expects
July law change
The government of the
autonomous Spanish region
of Valencia is pushing for
approval of new casino
regulations by the end of
July that would allow
casinos to remain open
throughout the year and
relax restrictions on
advertising. The
government has already
updated legislation in
respect of bingo, arcades
and slot machines.
challenge to
casino Act
Two prominent left-wing
politicians in Aragon,
where the project to build
a huge casino resort near
Zaragosa is gaining
momentum, have
launched a legal
Only next year will challenge to the scheme.
Lucien Barrière’s
Adolfo Barrena and be
able to compete on
José Manuel Alonso of
a level playing field
the United Left party
with sites based
have lodged a complaint
outside France with the regional court
that in setting up the Act
that allows the
Whatever the reservations of the French government, the people of France are voting with their feet betting and
development to go
wagering on internet sites, almost all of which are sub-legal, according to a new study. This will add to the calls
ahead, including the
establishment of an
for speed from French operators to liberalise the market. Online gaming is, it seems, de rigeur. independent public
consortium, the region’s
lawuntothemselves Juliette Delfaud, director of devel- across the internet as a whole, they The Bill will go before the Finance autonomy is being
FRANCE opment at IPSOS Media CT, who led account for 18 per cent of users. Committee of the French parliament unconstitutionally
the research. “They have not waited Some 43 per cent of players on in July, already with several amend- infringed. They allege
More than three million French are for the market to open in 2010, as illegal sites spend more than E20 per ments: the Olympic Committee, for that the consortium
already taking part in online gaming planned by the government, in month. “This is already quite a lot,” example, wants more financial would be able to
and more than 20 per cent of them order to make use of the existing said Delfaud. However, slightly more, support for sport by raising the tax override Aragonese
are spending more than E50 per offers online.” 45 per cent, only bet between E1 and on sports betting from one per cent government and local
month, according to a survey con- Another finding of the survey is E5 per month. On the legal sites, 45 to 1.8 per cent. Towns with casinos government decisions
ducted in June by IPSOS Media CT. that while almost half of respon- per cent of players spend more than want greater levies on poker. “with unpredictable
Of the internet users questioned dents knew that liberalisation was E20 per months, and 37 per cent The two major casino operators consequences”.
by the polling organisation, the underway, they did not know what between E1 and E5. in France are already prepared for The pair also object to
majority (68 per cent) knew that the form it would take. “They think that The study has allowed a profile the opening of the market to private the consortium
market is not yet open, and that the all gambling games will be legal, of internet players to be built for competition. Lucien Barrière’s proposing to adhere to
only legal way to bet online in France including slot machines and the first time before the market is is functioning in “international norms”
was through the sites belonging to roulette, which will not be the case,” liberalised. The liberalisation play mode for French players but relating to gambling
PMU and La Française des Jeux. said Delfaud. process of online gaming is subject working fully and legally in the UK without “at any time
The market is expected to be lib- The study showed that 71 per cent to more delays, however. According market. Partouche elected to jump citing the rules, or
eralised only at the start of 2010. of players on the PMU and La to the Bill’s rapporteur Jean- the gun, somewhat, registering its saying where they can
Ten per cent of those questioned Française des Jeux sites are male, François Lamour, it will only come online offering legally in Malta and be found or which
were already playing on poker, casino while on other sites, 59 per cent of into effect in February or March Gibraltar, allowing players in France democratic organisation
and sports betting sites that are not players are male. Students are heavily and not right at the start of 2010. to access pay sites. approved them”.
licensed in France (such as Bwin, represented, particularly on non- He told the French press: “The France has been under pressure to The case is unlikely to
Unibet and Betclic among others). authorised sites, accounting for 24 aim is to be ready for football World change its stance on online gaming achieve anything: at most
“The French are players,” said per cent of players, even though Cup in June 2010.” laws by the European Commission. it could delay the project.
JoaGroupe pulls out of Sanary project
thirdtimelucky complex before 5 July 2010 been altered slightly, extend- ministerial authorisation has
FRANCE as set out in the licence. The ing the term by two years to given up on building a
town council voted to 20 years. gaming establishment.
France’s third largest opera- remove the company as con- At a meeting called to Nothing is simple. Among
tor, JoaGroupe, has aban- cessionaire in early July. discuss the issue, opposition the projects we have
doned a concession it won Despite vocal local oppo- councillors condemned the launched, few have suc-
to build and operate a casino sition to the project, the mayor for the project and its ceeded at the first attempt.
in the French Riviera resort mayor, Ferdinand Bernhard failure, saying it would lead You can’t give up each time.
of Sanary-sur-Mer, citing diffi- has decided to reopen the to the destruction of a vital But this is a choice we have
culty in finding the neces- tender process: it will be the green area and that it would made and we will carry on
sary finance. third attempt to find see millions wasted. with it. Giving up is not my
The company warned the someone to build and In response, Mayor Bern- cup of tea.”
town last December that it operate the venue on 1.5 hard said: “What do you want He added: “One day I think
was struggling to find the hectares of a greenfield site me to say? This is the first the casinos will get back in
The mayor of Sanary-sur-Mer still wants a casino
necessary backing needed planted with mature pines. time in the history of casinos the saddle and I prefer to be
despite opposition and the failure of JoaGroupe to
to open the casino-hotel The licence conditions have that a company holding a ready when they do.” find the necessary finance
4 August 2009 • europewestnews
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