Expected French poker tax changes finally taking place

July 30, 2009

Latest poker news is that the French government has decided not to go ahead with the online poker tax plans. These plans would have seen the tax player stakes increase at 2%. This news came as a relief for the C.E.O of the top poker brand ChiliPoker, a France-focused online poker industry who will benefit as they market the French market.

It was the French authorities who changed the taxation set up last week stating that online poker from 2% of player stakes to 2% of the pots, capped at €1. The poker community and industry in general had asked the French government to change its plans again and again. Their point of argument was that that proposed regulation would make legal poker sites completely uncompetitive and unfair.

Alexandre Dreyfus, chief executive of ChiliPoker expressed his relief after hearing the government decision while interviewed by EGRmagazine.com, saying that “We are all very glad that we were consulted by the French government and that our views were taken seriously. Although the set up is not ideal – we want to be able to offer French players the possibility to play against players from other countries, especially for tournament games – the hope is that legislation will evolve with time.”

30% of all the pots generated by the online operators are estimated to be the French government’s total tax take on all this as the revised system will allow more freedom on the market. It will allow for online poker operators to offer a more competitive environment to their customers and at the same time grow the game in France.

It was also noted that EGBA / The European Gaming and Betting Association described the French government’s plan as “highly problematic” as they would make operators pay sport federations for the right to offer markets on their events. France is consolidating and introducing the sports betting right as part of the draft gambling regulation that will be implemented in France next year in an aim to “preserve the integrity of sports”.


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