Unreasonably high taxes under the current French gambling laws have been causing lots of problems for both French gambling operators and players. In a recent poll, more than 80% of French players admitted that they prefer playing with mafia loan sharks who offer better odds and tighter point spreads on sporting events.
The pressure on the French government has been increasing on a weekly basis as more and more regulated and licensed casinos are leaving the French market due to unreasonable taxes.
The French online gaming industry association AFJEL joins the growing support for a more realistic approach to taxation. The current 8.5 percent tax on turnover as opposed to a GGR tax (amount wagered minus the winnings returned to players) makes it extremely difficult for operators of online sportsbooks and online casinos in France to make even a minimal profit to cover expenses.
Many major online gaming companies have already expressed their disgust with the current tax rate. Online giants including Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfair and Sportingbet have opted to entirely avoid the French gaming market as result of the government’s greed.
According to France gambling news, ARJEL, the national regulator, already submitted to the government a set of 65 recommendations for improving the situation. The suggestions include a taxation system based on GGR and set at various rates, depending on the activity – 38 percent for sports betting, 25 percent for poker and 55 percent for horse betting. ARJEL suggested return-to-player (RTP) rate of 95 percent.
The ARJEL’s proposals contradict those of Deputy Jean-François Lamour of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), a centre-right political party. Earlier this year he suggested 20 percent flat rate across all online gaming industry. He also suggested a RTP rate of 90 percent or higher.
Industry experts regard these latest movements as a good sign, confirming that current tax rates are counterproductive and require urgent change. High hopes for the positive changes are placed with an industry review, scheduled for November.