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French sports betting regulations aren't working

Complaints this week in Monaco at the first gaming industry conference centred upon France with Mangas (BetClic, Expect, bet-at-home) CEO Nicolas Beraud claiming the anti-problem gambling directives from the French government are actually having the reverse effect - players lose their money quicker with higher margins and thus want to bet more as they chase their losses....

French player returns uncompetitive says Mangas boss

Mangas Gaming chief executive Nicolas Beraud has called for the French authorities to increase what it currently allows to pay back to players, as the current 85% limit is failing in its publicly declared aim of protecting the consumer.

Speaking yesterday on the Online Sports & Horse Betting Markets panel at France’s first ever egaming conference, Monaco iGaming Exchanges, Beraud said: “Today, we cannot give better than an 85% return to the player, which means the odds are not competitive compared to other markets. It is an incentive for players to try to play on foreign websites, and the customers can lose their money much more quickly than previously.

“The excuse to have this 85% was to protect the consumer, but what we are seeing is the customer is instead losing his money more quickly and is actually playing more.”

Speaking on the same panel, Emmanuel de Rohan Chabot, chief executive of horse racing tote operator ZEturf observed of current tax and payback conditions that if “there wasn’t such a difference in pressure between the legal and illegal worlds, it would not be so hard to keep the punter inside the French market, and it is a hard job.”

Chabot told the audience: “In between the ZEturf.com and the ZEturf.fr we are on now, the average punter is losing €110 a month when he used to lose just €60 a month. The objective of reducing gaming addiction and risk is clearly a failure on that point, so I am completely with Nicolas on that one.”


Of course, from the side of the monopoly, another panellist blamed the problem on lack of sanctions against firms not licensed in France, which completely misses the point. Fat margins do nothing to protect punters - gambling addicts are more often, but not always, people with poor comprehension of the percentages behind gambling. While they still think they have a chance of winning, they will keep playing, and the more expensive it is in terms of margins, the more it will cost them in the long run.

An 85% return to punters is poor (117.6% overrround if you prefer to see it the other way around). That's uncompetitive on 1x2 football markets, so it's completely pointless for two-way sports like tennis( - although PMU.fr are listing tennis h2h markets at 112% so there may be some concession for two-way markets?).

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