French politicians are saying that the liberalisation of the country's online betting market is unlikely to happen before the football World Cup, but a crippling tax regime has left gaming operators unsure whether they should bother getting a licence at all.
When football authority UEFA revealed its investigation into forty "fixed" games this autumn it hailed the success of its new Betting Fraud Detection System, but the key to tackling match-fixing lies in regulation not software. That's the view of the betting industry. But when it comes to regulation, UEFA prefers to stick its head in the sand.
Opponents of liberalisation of French gaming laws did not succeed in totally derailing proposals put forward by Budget Minister Eric Woerth, but the dozens of amendments that were approved by the National Assembly on the 8th and 9th October, out of almost 1,500 tabled, did result in additional measures to tighten up control of online gaming in the draft legislation which goes before parliament today.
In Italy, 2009 heralded a series of landmark legal developments that transformed the country's gaming market from a protectionist regime slowly opening to new products and new overseas operators to one of the most liberal regulatory environments in Europe.
Much has been said in recent days about the latest findings of research into problem gambling in the UK, with many in the media reporting that online gambling is ten times more addictive than offline gambling, but is that really the conclusion of the research? No, according to Dr. Mark Griffiths, the paper's author.
There is a new regime at the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) but it looks like a case of plus ça change. In an exclusive interview, new legal director Emilie Montané and deputy general manager Alain Riou tell Gaming Intelligence they will continue to fight for the FFT's rights.
Italy's booming gaming market may be largely dominated by domestic operators, but the arrival of online poker €“ and shortly casino games €“ appears to herald improved fortunes for companies seeking a share of the Italian public's spending on gaming.
With the entire gaming sector nervously viewing the machinations of the French parliament ahead of liberalisation, the French Court of Appeal threw everyone into a frenzy of indignation by coming down in favour of the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) over Unibet two weeks ago.
Much has been written about the recent decision by the European Court of Justice to find in favour of the Portuguese government regarding their legal action against online operator bwin. However, although many have supported the declaration that the ruling constitutes "the beginning of a new era in the internet gaming sector," it is important to note that the background to the judges' decision is very different from that which related to the landmark decisions of Gambelli and Placanica.
For Italian poker operators, September proved to be a bumper month that provided reassurance that the business would bounce back from the summer lull, while sports betting too showed considerable growth, although concern remains that the sector is not seeing a sufficient level of turnover to prevent the closure of many of the new betting outlets that opened in the last two years. However for most of the other gaming products in Italy, September confirmed the upward trend with figures for the first 9 months revealing double digit year-on-year growth for some products.