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France – Gaming clubs to be permitted in Paris

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On May 10, the French government published a decree signed by the Minister of the Interior, laying down the conditions for “clubs de jeux (gaming clubs) in Paris” and the provisions relating to casinos. The text completes the law of February 28, 2017 relating to the status of Paris and metropolitan planning, which puts an end to the prohibition of gaming within Paris as of January 1, 2018, replacing it with an experimental period of three years with commercial companies operating gaming clubs. This decree indicates which games will be allowed in these clubs.
The purpose of the decree is the repeal of the legal regime governing gaming clubs; commencing for a period of three years in Paris from January 1, 2018, with the opening of gaming clubs authorised to operate certain games; strengthening the administration’s capacity to combat what it describes as the capitalist takeover of companies operating casinos and gambling clubs by capital of ‘doubtful origin – ie. money laundering.
There is only one authorised gaming operation in Paris, Clichy-Montmartre, which, if it wishes to eventually become a gaming club, will benefit from transitional provisions specific to clubs de jeux.
The text enters into force the day after it is published, with the exception of the provisions of Chapter II, 1 of Article 20 and 2 of Article 21 of the Decree which come into force on January 1, 2018. However, for a period of one year from the same date, the gaming clubs benefit from an operating license coming into force on December 31, 2017 which shall continue to be governed by the provisions concerning them in their drafting prior to this decree. However, in order to be able to benefit from the status of gaming clubs as from January 1, 2018, the filing of applications for authorisation is authorised from September 1, 2017.
The games allowed in the new game clubs consist of the following: stud poker; punto banco; Hold’em poker casino; Ultimate poker; Three card poker; Poker 21; Multicoloured billiards; Railway baccarat; Two-bank baccarat limited-bank; Two-bank open-bank baccarat; forms of poker determined by the order mentioned in article R. 321-39 of the code of internal security; and Mahjong.
Candidates for the operation of a gaming club are now awaiting the tax component of this legislation as Ministry of the Budget has not yet decided on the issue of taxation. The provisions concerning the clubs could be part of a supplementary budget law in July or September. If it’s in September, in view of administrative delays in the opening of a club, there is very little chance for everything to be completed by 1 January 2018.

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