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French Online Gambling a Mixed Blessing?

April 27, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – After a lot of drama, controversy, and time, the online casino and Internet poker in France has been legalized, regulated, and opened to foreign investment. But the cost may be greater than all but the very largest online casino brands are willing to invest.

“Online gambling sites will not rake in easy winnings from the newly legalised French market, with high taxes and strict compliance rules eating into margins and a state monopoly retaining the sweetest part of the pie,” states a recent Reuters report. “Only the most robust companies will survive.”

Still, many online casino and Internet poker brands such as Bwin, PartyGaming, and  PokerStars are racing to enter the French market, hoping that by getting there first the investment costs will be well spent. It is, after all, a potentially enormous market.

It would also probably seem nonsensical for companies like bwin to not enter the market after recently winning a major EU decision stating that it had the legal right to do so.

The Reuters report also quotes critics of the French laws that says the online gambling market there is unfair, since it blocks Internet gambling companies from offering “lucrative and low-risk casino games like blackjack and roulette as well as lotto.”