ARJEL President’s Departure Risks the Future of French Online Poker
The President of French regulator ARJEL is leaving his post in January to take up a job in the private sector. As a champion of lower gaming taxes and shared liquidity his resignation throws uncertainty into the direction the regulator will take.
After three years in the position President Jean-François Vilotte had recognized that ARJEL’s aims could not be achieved without legislative changes. Gaming taxes equivalent to 37% of gross gaming revenue for poker operators have made for a brutal marketplace and many operators have gone to the wall.
Villotte agitated for change, to bring the taxation into line with other jurisdictions. He argued that lower rates would ultimately mean more revenues for the state not less.
He also recognized that poker segregated from other markets reduced player liquidity to a level that was damaging to the industry and, combined with the taxes, produced a strong incentive for unlicensed operators.