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Betfair and Paradise Poker Exit French Market

Leading Online Poker and Sportsbook Sites Withdraw From France Ahead of Market Licencing


Betfair Poker and Paradise Poker withdraw from French marketBetfair and Sportingbet, online bookmakers with significant online poker sites, have withdrawn their services from the soon-to-be-regulated French market.

In a statement today Betfair was critical of the licencing process saying it had not yet decided if it would apply for one as the French authorities hadn’t yet publish the full requirements.

Tim Phillips, director of European public affairs at Betfair, said, “We are looking very hard at the French market and how we might operate within the new licensed regime. Though it’s not impossible for a newcomer to create a commercially viable business, most projections show it will be very difficult to do so, given the proposed restrictions imposed on licence holders.

“French legislation will certainly benefit the incumbent players and the ultimate loser will be the French consumer. The new law does not adequately open the former monopoly’s market to true competition from other operators. We hope that the review, scheduled 18 months from now, will amend the law to address these flaws.”

In a statement on its French website last week Sportingbet, which owns Paradise Poker, also indicated it would no longer allow French players to play or bet at the site saying it had a legal obligation to suspend its activities from May 13.