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Betfair has made the decision to allow punters to bet, and that decision will now cost the company any chance it had to enter the French online gambling market legally. The French Parliament has added an amendment to their online gambling laws that will essentially keep Betfair out.
Betting exchanges that allow punters to place bets were excluded from the legislation that will regulate and legalize online gambling in France. Betfair does not believe that the new amendment is legal, and may challenge the amendment.
France is concerned with the growing number of betting scandals and match fixing that has been taking place in recent years in Europe. They have brought in the heads of several sports leagues that are in support of keeping corruption out of their games.
A British Gambling Commission report from 2007 was cited as one of the reasons for the amendment. The report claimed that 9.9% of punters that used betting exchanges such as Betfair, developed gambling addictions. That figure is considerably higher than the percentage of the general public that developed addictions.
The European Union is one of the main reasons that France is changing their online gambling laws at all, and there is concern that they may not take the news of the new amendment lightly. The European Commission earlier this year was approached about the law and had no ill-feelings towards the amendment, opening the door for the French Parliament to follow through with the amendment..