Since June 2010, the online gambling market has been opened up to competition. In order to regulate the market, already host to a multitude of illegal sites, France took the initiative by creating an independent administrative authority, the Arjel ( Authority for the Regulation of Online Gaming). This authority has as its mission to grant licences to those operators who request one while also making sure that they scrupulously follow the regulations; to ensure players’ security by fighting addiction; to battle fraud, money laundering and illegal sites. At the time that cash games opened up on the internet, a lot of operators accepted French players, which was completely forbidden. The government decided however to let on that it didn’t notice in order to encourage them to enter the legal market and even decided to stop ongoing investigations. But this didn’t take into account the tax administration which didn’t look the other way. After long investigations, several operators such as Winamax were prosecuted for hiding earnings. The Partouche group was also under examination and is now suspected of tax fraud.Since 2011 the Partouche group has been in the firing line of the tax authorities. It is accused of having used its interactive subsidiary set up in 2006 and which has gaming licences from Malta and Gibraltar, to attract French players and of not having declared this revenue. Responding to these accusations the Partouche group insists that it’s not just because its subsidiary is based abroad that it took part in the French market. The Appeal Court did not accept Partouche’s arguments and rejected its request concerning a ban on a tax inspection. It believes that the Partouche group waited until the online gaming market opened up in the country to become a part of it and to direct the players who used its subsidiary based abroad towards its legal Partouche Gaming France site. Moreover, when one looks more closely at the accounts up one notices that in 2011 Partouche Interactive only registered 35 000 euros where as the year before it was over 4 million euros.
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