Latest Amendments See Rise in French Sport Betting Tax

3rd February 2010 9:49 am GMT

The Committee on Culture, Education and Communication of the French Senate on Tuesday published further amendments to the country's draft online gaming bill, most notably, increases in the level of taxation and the introduction of a new levy on sports betting.

In order to "ensure the sustainability of the equine industry", article 39 of the bill has been amended to reduce the tax on horse race betting by 0.5%, offset by a 0.5% increase in the level of tax on sports betting.

According to Ambroise Dupont, author of the amendment, this will result in an improvement in the rate of return to players from horse race betting, thereby increasing its popularity and limiting the impact on the equine industry from the expected shift in player preference towards sports betting.

Mr. Dupont also introduced an amendment to article 42 of the bill which imposes an additional annual levy of 0.3% on all sports bets, capped at €4.0 million, with the proceeds directed to France's anti-doping agency.

And with ARJEL looking increasingly unlikely to issue online gaming licences before the start of the World Cup this summer, a new article has also been introduced to the bill which would enable operators "correctly installed in France" and "under the control of the state", to offer online betting and to market such services prior to licensing, in order to deter players from betting with illegal sites during the World Cup.

Other amendments introduced last week include the strengthening of the authority and independence of the state gaming regulator ARJEL, introduction of a unique identification number for each player to enable the state to monitor their spending across multiple games and operators, approval of the use of pre-paid cards for funding gaming accounts, and the clarification of sports clubs trademark ownership rights in relation to their use by sports leagues and associations.

The full text of the latest amendments is available to view here. (FR)

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