October 17, 2008

French Sport's Governing Body Demands Say in Online Gaming Regulation

The French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) yesterday laid out its position with regard to the proposed liberalisation of the French online gaming market, presenting a list of demands that it wants to see incorporated into future legislation.

At the inaugural meeting of the Action Committee on Online Sports Betting, established by CNOSF to represent its interests at a national and European level, the committee demanded a "legitimate financial return" from online sports betting operators.

It said it wanted to see a tax of 2.5% levied on sports bets for the benefit of French sports, comparable to that which is currently applied to the state-owned La Française des Jeux.

The committee, chaired by Christian Bîmes, head of the French tennis federation, also said that the legislation should enable organisers of sporting events to retain the exclusive rights to their exploitation, similar to the system currently in force in the French sports code. This would allow organisers of sports events to sell sports betting rights in the same way as they do TV broadcasting rights, and on an event-by-event basis.

The CNOSF added that as a regulator of French sports, it would also expect to be included in any regulatory body that will be established to oversee the online gaming market in order to ensure that the integrity of sports was maintained. Such a body is expected to be established in early 2009 and to subsequently oversee the licensing process.

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