Legalization doesn’t create poker paradise on its own – this appears to be the moral of the French online gambling story, as yet another online operator announces the closure of its French poker room, effective mid-June.
Partouche Group, one of the first to be licensed under the new French gambling laws made the news public last week, citing lack of profitability.
Although the game is very popular (partly because aside from these poker rooms there no other types of online casinos in France) and the country’s poker player base is among the largest in the world, it is still restricted to France, as regulations prohibit international pooling. Furthermore, there are stringent tax laws impacting the bottom line even further.
Furthermore, there are 15 operators currently licensed to offer online poker to the French public. Despite being one of the first to launch its dot-fr site, Partouche has failed to generate the necessary traffic and has fallen behind some of its main competitors.
The company has also run into other types of problems compounding the situation, most recently in the form of an ARJEL investigation, following allegations that the company allowed some of its employees and their families to play at the online poker site.
It is certain, though, that even if Partouche hands in its online gambling license at the door, the overall problems of the sector in France remain the same.
Meanwhile, as Partouche’s management decides to fold the online poker operations, players are advised to migrate to another member of the fold, the locally licensed MyPok site.