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Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.
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FRENCH POKER RING FENCE

The French Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (English: "Regulatory authority for online games"), usually referred to as ARJEL, is an independent administrative authority, specifically designed to regulate online gambling in France. It was created by Article 34 of Law No 2010-4761 (The French Gambling Act)2 of 12 May 2010 on the introduction of competition and sector regulation of gambling and online gambling.

Currently only online operators offering sportsbooks betting, horse racing betting and poker games can get ARJEL's license. At ARJEL's site there's a list of approved operators and their websites. Also, a special section of the site is reserved for published decisions of the board (approvals and rejections).

In June, 2010 ARJEL contacted the unlicensed gambling operators that accepted players from France and asked them to stop doing so. That was the first step towards banning those sites that didn't get ARJEL's approval and operated without licenses.

Later the organisation focused on blocking access to these sites rather than attempting to prosecute operators based overseas. ARJEL asked the French ISPs to block the unlicensed sites in August, 2010. Despite the initial reluctance of ISPs to obey ARJEL, the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris held that they must act towards preventing French gamblers from accessing such websites. The fine for the failure to block the domain was estimated at €10,000 per day. Although ARJEL can fine the unlicensed operators (up to €100,000), it was more effective to act through ISPs3

It has turned out that France is the least profitable country for operators due to the high gaming taxes. Neverthesless sinces France is such a huge country in Europe online poker will remain popular at least among hobby players.


1 Legifrance.gouv.fr

2 Easg.org

3 Olswang.com (page removed)