Thursday, July 14, 2005Contact: Maurits Bruggink
+33.1.56 09 94 30
France Court condemns Maltese betting site

A French Court has condemned last Friday a Maltese betting site for taking bets from French citizen and on French races.

Like a Dutch Court earlier this year, the French judge considered that the online betting activity takes place in the country of the consumer and that French law therefore applies. As betting is a state controlled activity in France, the offering of betting services of the Maltese betting website to French citizen is illegal.

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities welcomes the judge’s reading and believes that operators and jurisdictions must respect the jurisdictional integrity of other countries. Malta, that forbids its own citizen to bet online, encourages the establishment of online gaming operators that target foreign consumers. As online gaming through foreign operators is forbidden in most countries in the world, the Maltese policy is more than questionable.

The IFHA has therefore filed a complaint with the European Commission against Malta for not respecting EU law. According to EU law, a Member State must respect the laws of another Member State in areas where the EU has not yet harmonised legislation, such as gambling.

The condemned website is called and used to be a legitimate information portal for French racing with an important client base. The domain name was bought by investors who based it off-shore and transformed it into a betting website. The site’s look remained the same as well as its language (French). The site was quoted to appeal the judgement.

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