The challenges of market regulation in France, and what you can do to thrive
As we discussed earlier this week, casino affiliate marketing in Europe offers a significant amount of opportunity — along with a variety of regulatory hurdles.
Nowhere are those regulations more controversial — and potentially confusing — as in France, where new regulations have some companies complaining loudly.
France gambling in review
Just looking at the history of France’s online gambling regulations is instructive. Just two years ago, the country’s gambling interests were run by a state monopoly; but the country had the foresight to decide that regulated online gambling was a good thing for the economy, and got to work on it.
It should be noted that France was always big on gambling in general. That state-owned monopoly, Francaises des Jeux, was reputed to be the world’s third largest lottery company before France sold part of it off and opened the market to private companies.
So it made sense for lawmakers to open all that gambling activity up to private enterprise. However, the bill passed by French lawmakers had to be changed when the EU declared that non-French companies must be allowed to enter the market.
An unfair market?
Even after those changes, controversy has been the watchword of the French online gambling market since its inception last year: Playtech has already loudly left and re-entered from the market (it’s now represented by iPoker.fr); and BetClic has made very public complaints about the French market’s perceived lack of fairness.
Or an igaming pioneer?
But the concept it’s working toward — that EU countries have to figure out a way to leave their igaming markets open to other EU countries, while still favoring local companies — has since been a major factor in almost every other online gambling regulatory story, worldwide.
The concept may be of particular importance to the United States, if the current trend of state-by-state igaming regulations — as opposed to national regulations — continues.
Breaking down France
So where does that leave France? Right now, PokerStars leads the pack (as it does globally); other European heavyweights like Everest Poker and Full Tilt are also in the top ten.
That info comes from PokerScout.com — and that site’s valuable as a resource for what sites are leading in France now, and six months from now. At this early stage in its regulatory life, the market still shifts around pretty wildly. (And watching PokerScout isn’t a bad research idea for any country, by the way.)
So, keep an eye on that traffic over the next six months to see what rooms have staying power amid France’s fluctuating market. Then, seek out the casino affiliate programs of the sites you want to promote.