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France Says Oui to Betfair ahead of 2010

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Leading UK-based online sports betting exchange, Betfair, is on
a mission to take over the online gambling world, a mission it is making great
strides in. Take France. Thanks to the efforts of one of Betfair’s shareholders,
the gambling firm will be allowed to advertise in France by as early as 2010.

France , which is expected to open up its online gambling market in 2010, will
no doubt become one of the most lucrative gaming markets in Europe and thanks to
the lobbying efforts of prominent French businessman Bernard Arnault and 10
percent shareholder of Betfair, French authorities have given Betfair a green

This means that Betfair will be one of only a few online gambling firms allowed
to advertise their services in France, a country that has a long and rich
gambling history, particularly with regards to sports betting. As such Betfair
executives will no doubt be looking for 2010 to reap the rewards of their French

Arnault is considered to be one of France’s most influential and successful
businessman. He is currently the CEO of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, one of the
nation’s foremost companies dealing exclusively in luxury brands. For some time
the businessman has been lobbying the French government regarding Betfair.

And perhaps it came as no surprise that a man of his distinction was successful
in his endeavor to persuade key government officials that Betfair would be the
ideal choice of online gambling firm to showcase the country’s new ‘open door
policy’ concerning online gambling. The move will give Betfair a big foothold in

But while Betfair has been given the inside track in France, it will still be
subject to the high rate of taxation as proposed by the French government along
with all other online gambling operators. Plus it will also have to adhere to
the country’s strict online gambling rules and regulations along with all other
gaming firms.

Said Betfair managing director, Mark Davies. ‘While the online gambling
regulation (in France) is good news, it is also inevitable in any licensed
environment, because it is legally impossible to differentiate. In my opinion,
no system which allows fixed odds bookmaking can outlaw an online betting

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