Posted on: September 21, 2023, 08:32h.
Last updated on: September 21, 2023, 08:32h.
France Still Discussing Legal Framework for Web3 Digital Casinos
Legislators in France are actively considering the implementation of a legal framework for Web3 technology-based games, such as Web3 digital casinos. While online casinos are not yet legal in the country, lawmakers are discussing how to regulate these games that utilize Web3’s decentralized approach. The proposed “SREN” bill, approved by the Senate in July, aims to create a framework for Web3 games, including those involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs). By defining regulations for NFT provider Sorare and similar platforms, lawmakers hope to control their operations and place limitations on their capabilities. Additionally, this framework has the potential to open the door to legal Web3 gambling by allowing companies to offer NFT winnings as a form of gambling that bypasses current online casino restrictions in France.
Lawmakers Debate Regulations and Impact
Since SREN seeks to regulate and secure the entire digital space, it has undergone multiple amendments and caused controversy among different political parties. Some concerns raised include the protection of minors and the prevention of money laundering. To address these issues, lawmakers have introduced updated language to enforce gambling controls and assigned oversight to the National Gaming Authority (ANJ). However, there are differing opinions on how to handle the legislation. Some lawmakers advocate for the removal of certain text, while others argue for classifying Web3 digital casinos as gambling. Nevertheless, the debate surrounding the legalization of online casinos in France continues.
Casino Operators Express Frustration
The current legal landscape in France only allows land-based licensed casinos to operate in the digital space. However, these casinos largely avoid venturing into online platforms due to concerns about potential revenue losses. When renewed discussions on SREN began, casino operators were blindsided by their exclusion from participating in the conversation. Two industry trade groups, Casinos de France and the Association of French Independent Casinos, have criticized the government for this oversight. They fear that the introduction of Web3 digital casinos, such as those utilizing NFTs, could provide illegal online casino operators with an opportunity to flourish in the national market. According to Afjel, the French online gaming association, the illegal online gambling segment is worth €1.6 billion (US$1.7 billion), surpassing sports betting by €200 million (US$212.8 million). In comparison, legal casinos generate approximately €400 million (US$425.6 million) in revenue for their communities and contribute €1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in tax revenue to the country each year. The trade groups believe their absence from the discussion is an “inexplicable oversight” and will make efforts to sway lawmakers in their favor before SREN faces scrutiny in the National Assembly in October.