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French politicians propose overhaul of national gambling regulation

Two members of France's National Assembly have released a report setting out a series of recommendations to overhaul the country's gambling regulations.
The report from Pari Socialiste MP Régis Juanico and Jacques Myard of Les Républicains is the second in recent months to call for a major restructuring of the French gambling market. It follows a similar publication from the country's Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes) in October 2016, which was critical of the fragmented regulatory framework in France.

Juanico and Myard's report makes a number of proposals aimed at streamlining the regulatory framework, such as replacing the multiple government ministries and independent bodies with oversight of gambling with a simple two-tier system.

This would see a new inter-ministerial committee established to handle the legal status of operators, the scope of exclusive rights to offer certain types of games, and the types of games regulated. A second, independent administrative authority would handle day-to-day regulatory affairs such as individual authorisations, the catalogue of approved competitions on which operators can offer odds, and approval for new points of sale. 

The  report also addresses the struggling online poker vertical, suggesting that the current turnover tax should be replaced by a tax on gross gaming revenue, as is the case in other European jurisdictions.

For the land-based sector, it recommends a single set of anti-money laundering regulations and the use of automated identity verification systems in betting shops and kiosks, as well as a self-exclusion register that allows players to ban themselves from all retail gambling outlets.

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