The Cour de Cessation, which is France’s highest appeals court, recently made the ruling there is only one justification for a country to have a monopoly on sports betting and that is as an effort to prevent crime. This ruling was made by the Cour de Cessation as a section of its review concerning sanctions to be places on Zeturf, the Malta-based betting company, with respect to the issue of horse racing. This issue had been presented to the court by the concern, Paris Mutuel Urbain. Paris Mutuel Urbain maintains a monopoly with regard to remote horse race betting.
It was reported by the news service Reuters that France’s top court had negated the decision to bar the Maltese company from making available online betting on French horse races. This added fuel to the European Commission’s effort to put pressure on France to end this state monopoly.
The Cour de Cassation stated that within the context of European Union rules, there is no justification to placing limits on competition. They argued that it was not permitted to place limits on gaming as a special or exclusive right, and that such limits could not be justified. This was announced Wednesday when the court made public its decision.
According to Cour de Cessation, the court has decided that restrictions of this type are only applicable when the intent is to block gambling companies from exercising ‘criminal or fraudulent’ activities when they are ‘channeling them through controllable avenues.’ This was included in the Paris based court’s decision that was made this week.
The effect of the decision is to send the case against the Maltese Internet gambling concern Zeturf, back to an appeals court in Paris rehearing. It is possible that a year will pass before the case again reaches the courts.