With the regulation of the French online gambling market on the cards for this year, Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the French lottery and sports betting monopoly, has joined forces with the Barrière casino group to offer an online poker room which will compete with the many others anticipated to flood the market when it opens.
According to French newspaper, Le Figaro, the FDJ had a very good year in 2009, and intends on moving from number three to number two on the worldwide lottery scale, so that it would be in front of Spain and behind Italy. Before a controlled opening of the market even occurs, Le Figaro state that 750,000 French people play online poker, and in the face of future competition, the French intend on preserving their monopoly on online gambling.
Currently all gambling in France is controlled by state agencies Francaise des Jeux and PMU but the new law will see private companies regulated and licensed.
The move will be subject to the agreement of the Arjel, the Authority of regulation of online games in France.
A similar move was made in Denmark after the Danish government drafted up legislation for a partially liberalised market set to come about in 2011. This would mean open competition for poker and casino, therefore Danske Spil, like FDJ, was on the lookout for an online gaming company which would ensure its success when this happens. It recently found this partnership in PartyGaming.