MP’s Amendments Begin Shaping French Online Gaming Bill

9th October 2009 8:39 am GMT

Following a turbulent start to proceedings in the French National Assembly on Wednesday when Socialist and left wing politicians unsuccessfully attempted to halt progress on a bill to liberalise and regulate the French online gaming market, Thursday's first session saw MP's make progress on a number of amendments including an increase in the fine for illegal advertising to €100,000 and a ban on certain bets which could effectively close the market to betting exchange Betfair.

In a three and a half hour morning session of the National Assembly, a total of 235 amendments were debated of a which a majority were identical amendments, with 28 amendments adopted.

Key Amendments

Article 3 - Amendments 189 to 197 (identical)
Article 3 of the bill was amended to strengthen the protection of minors, requiring gaming operators to state the ban on minors on their homepages.

Article 4 - Amendment 35
Article 4 of the bill was amended to include wording which states that a bettor cannot lose more than the amount wagered. (This could in effect outlaw activities such as spread betting as well as lay betting as offered by Betfair, where the bettor's potential loss can exceed the amount staked).

Article 4a - Amendment 1074
Article 4a was amended to better regulate advertising by incorporating a prohibition of advertising targeted at minors via the internet and in cinemas around films targeted towards minors.

Amendments 640 to 648 (identical)
The adopted amendment calls for a report by July 1st 2010 from the advertising regulatory authority evaluating the impact of online gaming advertising since January 1st 2010.

Article 4b - Amendment 1111
The prohibition on authorized operators of online games from supporting or sponsoring events intended exclusively for minors was strengthened to make any violation of this Article a criminal offence.

Amendment 90
The penalty on unlicensed gaming operators advertising in France was amended to increase the fine from a minimum level of €30,000 to €100,000.

Gaming Intelligence will publish a complete summary of all adopted amendments next week following completion of the National Assembly debate.

Relevant Documents
All proposed amendments (PDF French)
Adopted amendments October 8th, first session (PDF French)

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