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Mixed News In France

Law, 2007-05-24, by TwoGun

Submitted by: Kaishaku

The French poker world received both good and bad news recently. On the bright side, Texas Hold'em is now available in brick and mortar casinos. Unfortunately, the RGs (French FBI) are also investigating the French Poker Tour (FPT). The RGs are critical of the links the tour has to online gambling, and some are concerned they may take action against the FPT.

The €100,000 Finale of the FPT is scheduled to be held in Paris on July 14-15. There are two ways to win a seat into this event. First, you can play in one of the fifteen live freerolls held in France. The second way is to win an online qualifier at Unibet, an online gambling site. These online qualifiers are where the problems begin.

Already banned from the Tour de France 2007, Unibet is giving away the Final Event's €100,000 prize. Because of this, the whole tour could be seen as a marketing campaign for Unibet, which is drawing the ire of the RGs. The RGs are very critical of online gambling sites advertising in France. The RGs hostile stance against online gambling site sponsorships has already been evident in their reaction to Bwin's and 888's sponsorship of professional football teams.

Both the current and former president of the French Poker Players Federation (FFJP) have been interrogated by the RGs after the start of the French Poker Tour. But the new president of the FFJP will not let the issue slide and will continue to wrestle with the state monopoly on gambling.

Initially, it was uncertain if last weekend's events would be cancelled by the RGs, like the EPT and WPT events were. Fortunately, no RGs showed up at these tournaments... or at least not as cops but perhaps as players.

There is good news for the French poker world as well. After a test period in some brick and mortar casinos, French players will now be able to play Texas Hold'em at live casinos. Hold'em is the most popular variant of poker in France and is the only type of poker regularly broadcasted on TV. Finally, French players can now play the game in live cardrooms. Previously, the only poker game allowed in brick and mortar casinos was a Stud variant that was played against the house.

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