French authorities have recently decided to soften the rules applicable to how French casinos operate. Since August 1st, it is easier for them to test new games or to organize poker tournaments. Is this an attempt to counter competition from online gambling operators? Probably as traditional brick and mortar casinos have a lot of clout over the current Government.
This new Legislation makes things easier for all French brick and mortar gambling institutions, such as sea resorts, spas and climatic hotels allowed to organize gambling games in France. This Change gives the casinos a lot of room to maneuver. Since August 1st, casinos can try out some new games on the condition that they obtained authorization from the Advisory Commission on games and casino circles. They may also open new tables easily – without any permission – for poker tournaments, which are very popular in the country of cheese.
Finally, one-armed bandits, in other words the slot machines, will be allowed to offer several different games on the same machine as well as various stakes, and will remain open after the close of gaming tables, which was not previously the case. It is believed that if players can choose among multiple games at the same machine, they will be less tempted to leave once their game is finished.
The new rules, decided by decree on July 29, were well needed as competition from online games weighs on live casinos. They are already losing money since 2007. In 2010, their gross gaming revenue decreased by 2.1% and is now around 2.3 billion euros. Since the authorization of the online games a year ago, the French players have bet 9.5 billion euros on the web. Unlike in the United States the French Government has enacted a new regulation to administer online gambling and is thus able to collect well needed taxes. But on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean Congress does not seem to be able to agree on any new gambling law to replace the inept UIGEA regulation.