The news Tuesday morning that the French gambling regulator ARJEL had awarded the first French online gambling licenses has been followed by details of the successful companies, many of them major industry operators.
The Reuters news service confirmed that 11 companies have been licensed and registered by the French government to conduct online betting on sports and horse races, as well as poker, although the latter will not come into effect until the end of June.
The companies include state-run former monopoly Francaise des Jeux, horsing-racing outfit Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU), Iliad Gaming, Sajoo, Betclic, Beturf, BES SS/Bwin, Everest Gaming, France Pari, SPS Betting France and Table 14.
"There were 35 requests for licences and we have retained 17 at this stage. None have been formally rejected," said Jean-Francois Vilotte, the president of ARJEL, in an interview on Europe 1 radio.
ChiliGaming was awarded a sports betting licence in its partnership with the French telecom group Iliad. Alex Dreyfus, chief executive of ChiliGaming, revealed that the companies had been preparing for the French market liberalisation for the past eighteen months.
The list of ARJEL licence approvals so far is:
BetClic: pari-mutuel horse race betting, poker, sports - fixed odds and pool betting.
Beturf: pari-mutuel horse race betting.
BES SAS (Bwin's French subsidiary): poker, sports - fixed odds and pool betting.
Bwin/Amaury Groupe: poker, sports - fixed odds and pool betting.
France Pari: sports - pool betting.
La Française des Jeux: sports - fixed odds and pool betting.
Iliad Gaming/ChiliGaming: sports - fixed odds and pool betting
Pari Mutuel Urbain: poker, sports - fixed odds and pool betting.
SPS Betting: poker, sports - fixed odds and pool betting.
Table 14: poker.
Source: InfoPowa News