France issues 17 online gambling licenses

9 June 2010
After months of anticipation and speculation, the French government issued 17 online gambling licenses to 11 different operators Tuesday.

The companies will be allowed to conduct online betting on sports, horse racing and poker.

According to Reuters, the companies are Everest Gaming, Beturf, Betclic, France Pari, Table 14, Iliad Gaming, Sajoo, SPS Betting France, BES SS, Pari Mutuel Urbain and state-run Francaise des Jeux.

Jean-Francois Vilotte, president of Arjel, the French regulator of gaming, said in a radio interview that the country received a number of applications for licenses.

"There were 35 requests for licenses and we have retained 17 at this stage," he said. "None have been formally rejected."

PartyGaming and bwin are in the process of applying for a license, according to Reuters.

The issuing of the licenses comes right before the start of the World Cup in South Africa, where France is playing Uruguay on the tournament's opening day.