The 12th of May 2010 law dealing with competition and online cash games allowed online gaming operators to enter this much sought after market which had up to then been limited to the Francaise des Jeux and the PMU. So now 34 operators share the 47 agreements (16 for sports betting, 9 for Horse racing betting and 22 for online poker). In order to control this emerging market, the Authority for the Regulation of Online Gaming (Arjel) was put in place to grant licences and to check that the regulations are scrupulously observed.

Up to now, the online gaming market was doing well in particular during the Olympic Games in London where wagers exploded reaching 19 million euros. In general, players bet on the victory of a sports person or a team and they know the amount they may win based on the odds and the money bet. In recent days, sports betting on handball has made the headlines. At the beginning nothing unusual : a handball match between the Cesson club and Montpellier. But the Francaise des Jeux asked questions when it noticed the abnormally high amounts of the bets. After a meticulous investigation, it made its suspicions known and believed that there had been fraud involved. So after the match thirteen players were taken in for questioning and charged with fraud. They are accused of rigging the match. Amongst them, the Karabatic brothers are the main suspects. They are accused of having forced their partners and some of their friends to bet against their team. The protagonists formally refute these accusations and deny any involvement. In their defence they insist that they didn’t play in that match. However Luka’s partner says that she was asked by her partner to bet with his money.

For the moment the judicial inquiry is continuing and one needs to wait a few days to discover the outcome of this affair which has shaken the sporting world and internet sports betting in particular. This isn’t a good year for the Karabatics and one can only wonder if the best handball player in the world will come out of this affair untouched. Nikola Karabatic, the ambassador for the sports betting site, legal in France, Betclic, won’t feature any more in publicity campaigns and other advertisements. Betclic will concentrate on its two other ambassadors, Marcel Desailly and Tony Parker to promote the Stephane Courbit Group’s brand.