NEWS | Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Maltese model discussed
A report commissioned by the French government on betting legislation has described the Maltese model as one that motivates economic growth, the French press revealed yesterday.
After a ministers’ meeting in Matignon Monday, France announced that it shall be able to start authorising the grant of licenses to betting website operators, while bearing in mind that some restrictions may need to apply.
Last year, the European Commission called on the French government to liberalise the betting industry, which is currently held under monopoly by two main betting companies and some 200 casinos spread around the country.
With the exception of lotteries or jackpots, the meeting concluded, operational licenses for any kind of online betting will now be covered by French legislation.
In order to strike a sustainable balance between economic growth and a successful social policy, the French Finance Ministry commissioned its inspector-general Bruno Durieux to produce a report outlining recommendations on best practice with regards to legislation regulating online gambling.
“In the past few years, Malta has become a tax haven for betting operators, where the state only takes 0.5 per cent of the stake,” the report said. “Betting alone contributed to 2.5 per cent of Malta’s GDP in 2005, while it is expected to reach eight per cent in 2010.”
On an established French newspaper, a reporter commented : “It will be difficult for France to align itself with Malta, bearing in mind that the exchequer takes four per cent from poker rooms.”
Durieux also suggests a system, similar to the Maltese model, where licenses are first granted for a six month period, and then for five years – out of which the first three years would be classified as a first-phase of permit.
16 April 2008
ISSUE NO. 531