France expands online poker market with new game variants

The French government has set about making changes to the country's regulated online poker market with the introduction of new game variants.

Since the French iGaming market opened under new regulations in 2010, only Texas Hold'Em and Omaha Poker have been permitted, with the limited range of poker products often cited as a reason for the decline of poker in the market, alongside issues related to ringfencing.

But with the country's Digital Decree passing into law, allow liquidity-sharing with other markets, the government has now adopted Decree No. 2016-1326, allowing several other forms of poker.

This expands the range of poker games available to French players to include Omaha Hi-Lo, 5-Card Omaha, Stud Poker and its variants, and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball games. However, the popular poker variant 5-Card Draw remains illegal for online play.

These games are already offered by many international operators in other markets, enabling them to quickly roll out the new variants in France. Local operator Winamax is also understood to have been preparing for their launch.

The roll-out of the new games is to be followed by the establishment of liquidity-sharing agreements, provided agreements can be reached with regulatory bodies in other European markets.


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