In a groundbreaking development, France is reportedly considering a significant shift in its iGaming industry. Sources indicate that Française des Jeux (FDJ), previously a state-run gaming operator, might be handed the reins of the entire online casino market. This proposed monopoly has stirred discussions and raised eyebrows in the gaming community, as it could drastically alter the current competitive landscape.
The Backdrop: Regulation and Revenue
The context of this potential move is rooted in ongoing parliamentary debates in France concerning the regulation of ‘Jonum’ – a legislative framework aimed at governing games with monetizable digital objects, including Web3 and blockchain gaming. Key industry bodies such as the French Association of Online Gaming (AFJEL) and Casinos de France (CdF) have been actively involved in shaping the future of iCasino regulations. Amid these developments, FDJ is speculated to launch its online gaming operations soon, potentially coinciding with the European Commission’s review of France’s relevant laws.
The French government’s interest in such a monopoly could be financially motivated. FDJ, which the government partially owns, contributes significantly to France’s gambling market revenue. By controlling the iGaming sector, FDJ could provide a stable revenue stream to the government, especially if efforts to block illegal gaming sites are successful. This move could also be a strategy to combat the substantial revenue generated by over 500 unlicensed gambling websites in France.
The Road Ahead
If this plan proceeds, it’s likely to face legal challenges and intense scrutiny from industry stakeholders. The potential monopoly by FDJ could redefine France’s iGaming sector, impacting both domestic and international gaming businesses.