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Euro Poker News: More Trouble in France

French Government Levies Fines for Online Poker Involvement

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It would appear that the situation in France, as it relates to online poker, is continuing to deteriorate. Patrick Partouche, head of France's largest casino chain (Groupe Partouche), has been penalized by the French authorities for his involvement with an online poker site Poker770.com.

Monsieur Partouche was fined €40,000 and was handed a 12-month suspended sentence. Also fined was Partouche International (a Belgian subsidiary of Groupe Partouche). It was fined €150,000 for "targeting French online players." Two others (involved with Poker770) have also been fined and handed suspended sentences. All three are appealing.

Also facing potential fines is 888.com (Pacific Poker). Former chief executive and non-executive director John Anderson was questioned extensively regarding the marketing campaigns in France. 888.com was a sponsor of a Toulouse football (soccer) club, but was forced to cancel the sponsorship due to pressure from the French authorities.

It has been widely speculated that the French are protecting their state-sponsored gambling and horseracing monopolies, which contribute about $1.9 billion to the state budged annually. Curiously, the French (unlike the Swedes) have chosen not to expand their monopoly to include online gaming, a move that would no doubt swell their coffers even more.

For more Happenings in Europe, visit CardPlayerEurope.com