France could be the fillip for UK online gambling firms
As some of the big gambling Plc firms such as PartyGaming, William Hill and 888 Holdings continue to endure a slower market in the UK, there could be some good news for them just across the English Channel.
With France set to open its online gambling market to foreign operators during 2010, the major internet gaming firms will doubtless be pricking up their ears – particularly as the news has been reported on leading financial news website Bloomberg.com.
A bill is going before the French parliament on 7 October, which would permit foreign companies to offer poker and sports betting, thus ending the current monopoly enjoyed by state lottery provider Groupe Francaise des Jeuz and horse racing bookmaker Pari Matuel Urbain. Other forms of online gambling are presently prohibited.
“The size of the population and the appetite for gambling, and the group’s historically cautious approach to France make this a particularly exciting opportunity for us,” said Jim Ryan, chief executive officer of PartyGaming, the owner of the PartyPoker.com brand and the UK’s biggest online-gaming company in terms of revenue.
According to estimated figures from H2 Gambling Capital, a Manchester-based consultancy firm, sales from electronic gambling in France will more than double to €671 million in 2010 if the new rules come into effect by the middle of the year. By 2011, the market will be worth €1.03 billion, an additional increase of 53 percent.