Zeturf French Advertising Condemned by Woerth5th October 2009 8:36 am GMT
Maltese licensed online betting provider Zeturf has become the latest gaming company to draw the ire of the French government ahead of Wednesday's meeting of the National Assembly, after it ran a full page announcement Friday in France's free daily newspaper, Metro.
The full-page in Friday's Metro focused on the 88th Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, one of the most prestigious horse races in Europe, which took place on Sunday at Longchamp. The announcement highlighted the better odds offered on horseracing as compared to PMU.
Responding to the publication of the full-page announcement, which Zeturf said was just a press release, Budget Minister Eric Woerth reaffirmed the current ban on advertising by unlicensed operators.
Mr. Woerth told AFP that he viewed the publication as "advertising in disguise".
Mr. Woerth has previously warned operators that the government will take their activities into consideration when the time comes to issue licences, warning that current illegal marketing activity by some operators will not go unnoticed.
Online operators have become increasingly impatient in recent months ahead of the market liberalisation which is planned for early 2010, entering into media and sports sponsorship deals as they compete to establish themselves ahead of the market opening.
France's proposed gambling bill will be presented to the National Assembly for discussion on Wednesday.