June 08, 2010

Bwin, BetClic, Everest among first French licensees

Bwin has achieved the distinction of being the only non-French operator among the first wave of online gaming licences handed out by French regulator ARJEL this morning.

The Austrian operator received licences to offer poker and sports betting into the French market both directly via its BES SAS French subsidary and in partnership with media conglomerate Amaury Group. Mangas Gaming-owned Everest Poker was the only other operator with significant business outside of France among the 11 operators directly licensed by the French regulatory authority this morning.

Other major egaming operators now in the French market on a B2B basis via partnerships with licensed operators include PartyGaming, via its poker JV with PMU, Paddy Power through providing fixed odds pricing and risk management to PMU, and Unibet, providing pools-based sports betting via France Pari, announced this morning. Software provider Orbis is also providing PMU with its sports betting platforms.

Alex Dreyfus, chief executive of ChiliGaming, awarded a sports betting licence for its joint venture with French telecoms and internet service provider group Iliad, told EGRMagazine.com that the pair had worked “18 months on this project to be one of the first to have a licence.”

Dreyfus however added that the “very tough” technology and compliance requirements of the ARJEL meant they would not be ready to go live ahead of the football World Cup, which starts this Friday.

The ChiliGaming chief executive also remarked on the fact that only one non-French operator, Bwin, was in the first round of approvals. “I think it was a first filter. But they are going to issue more licences at the end of the month,” he added.

The full list of licence approvals this morning was as follows:

BetClic (BetClic.fr): pari-mutuel horse race betting, poker, sports– fixed odds and pool betting.
Beturf (Groupe Paris Turf): pari-mutuel horse race betting.
BES SAS (Bwin’s French subsidiary: Bwin.fr): poker, sports – fixed odds and pool betting.
Bwin/Amaury Groupe (Sajoo.fr): poker, sports – fixed odds and pool betting.
EverestPoker (EverestPoker.fr): poker.
France Pari (France-Pari.fr): sports – pool betting.
La Française des Jeux (ParionsWeb.fr): sports – fixed odds and pool betting.
Iliad Gaming/ChiliGaming (Chilipari.fr): sports – fixed odds and pool betting
Pari Mutuel Urbain (Pmu.fr): poker, sports – fixed odds and pool betting.
SPS Betting (Eurosportbet.fr): poker, sports – fixed odds and pool betting.
Table 14 (Winamax.fr) : poker.

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