It looks like Europe is opening up to the financial opportunities involved in gambling – first Sweden started to work towards dissolving its gambling monopoly, Svenska Spel, and now France is considering taking similar action in preparation for taking over the EU presidency.

French Budget Minister Eric Woerth met with EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy yesterday, to start ironing out the European dispute over online gambling, developing a calendar for the political settlement of said dispute and looking for ways to open the French gambling monopoly. French minister Woerth hopes that technical details will be worked out by February so that the deal can be approved by all in March.

One of the reasons this issue is taking priority is the fact that France is set to hold the EU presidency in July this year, and as Woerth told reporters “it is not good to have such problems linger,” which is why they hope to settle the gambling dispute in plenty of time to appease any companies and countries who may have been affected by France’s current stance on gambling.

For example, last week the CEO of Unibet, Petter Nylander, was released on bail after being arrested by French authorities and accused of violating French betting laws. Woerth said this had been a most unfortunate incident – especially at this time – and he insisted that the government had no way of influencing the prosecution or the judges who decided to seek Nylander’s arrest.

Let’s look forward to Europe’s open markets, which will hopefully also open up to cross-border gambling. Will this make the United States reconsider their strictly-in-house policy? We must wait and see.

Tight Poker Staff

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Tight Poker Staff

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For nearly two decades, we’ve provided the best in class for poker site reviews, top online poker bonuses, strategy tips, poker news, and exclusive free poker content.  Consisting of a team of poker and gambling experts, we deliver the best online poker brand experience for players of all levels, from the fish to the sharks.