Casinos de France: 'We're Not Scared'

8 May 2006

IGN published an article on May 2 detailing the battle brewing in France between the Association of Modern Casinos and the country's lottery monopoly.

Belgium lawyers Thibault Verbiest and Evelyn Heffermehl from the law firm ULYS lodged a complaint with the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition on behalf of the association, and IGN wanted to know why France's other major casino association, Casinos de France, did not join the fight. Verbiest's explanation: Casinos de France probably feared retaliation from the French Ministry of the Interior.

IGN was at the time unsuccessful in getting a reaction from Jean-François Cot, the secretary general of Casinos de France, but he has since come back with the following response:

Mr. Verbiest has never asked me directly this question. It is his reaction.

Mister P. Partouche (Group Partouche/ Association of Modern Casinos) launched an action without informing Casinos of France. He had an important idea concerning e-gaming, an ongoing cogitation, and he contacted several times the ministries of the interior and finances. It is clear that the French legislation is outdated and should be updated. It is not fear for retaliatory measurements, but we know with our good relations that the two ministries are studying the matter seriously. So it is not useful to push and involve the national lottery, La Française des Jeux.

We are not part of the Partouche group, we are a union were decisions are made via voting. We have trust in our ministries, so we do not see the sense to go to court.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.