More criticism for French draft law

French Budget Minister Eric Woerth's draft law for liberalising the French gambling market, which was submitted to parliament's Finance Committee this week, continues to attract criticism.

The latest provisions to take flak are those connected with the French government’s intention to make operators pay sport associations for the right to offer betting on their events, allegedly to "preserve the integrity of sport". The European Gaming and Betting Association has described the proposals as highly problematic. The Association represents most of the major European gambling groups and therefore has influence.

EGBA director for regulatory affairs Maarten Haijer said that online gambling companies had no problem with contributions to sporting federations, but that such disbursements should come from the French government and be funded from the taxes that it intends to levy on licensed companies.

“EGBA members have always been willing to pay taxes and contribute to sports federations, but the EGBA is opposed to what would be a precedent in Europe," said Haijer. "There is no link between a sports betting right and the integrity of sport.”

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