France Examines Significant Changes in Gaming Regulation Within Digital Bill Amendments
French Members of Parliament (MPs) are delving into amendments for a proposed digital bill aimed at securing and regulating the online realm. Notably, these amendments could pave the way for the regulation of online casinos in France.
The Scope of the Bill
The proposed bill is calling for the regulation of “games with monetizable digital objects,” which is defined in Article 15 and referred to as JONUM within the bill text. If this bill passes, it would usher in regulation for Web3 products, including those fueling platforms like Sorare and Socios, commonly known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Distinguishing JONUM from Gambling
Article 15 of the bill has become a focal point for several proposed amendments, many of which are aimed at differentiating JONUM from traditional gambling activities.
One such amendment suggests appending “by preventing risks of harm to public order” to the article’s title. This additional clause acknowledges the existing risk of categorizing illegal online casinos under JONUM. Some operators might exploit this classification by transforming their services into digital objects, technically complying with the law.
“This amendment seeks to address this issue and provide clarity to Article 15.”
Another amendment proposes empowering land-based casinos in France to offer online gambling, thereby creating a link between physical and digital operations. The intention behind this is to channel French players towards a secure, regulated, and taxable online gambling environment, thus curbing illegal offerings.
Alternatives to Article 15
Several amendments advocate for the complete removal of Article 15. Critics argue that the definition of JONUM within the article is too vague and may have adverse effects.
One such amendment, proposed by France’s Ecologist group, asserts, “The issues related to Web3 should not be confined to a single article within an all-encompassing bill.”
Instead, the group calls for a dedicated bill addressing JONUM, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. This approach would provide parliament with comprehensive insights for making informed decisions regarding these burgeoning sectors.
France – Defining the Gambling Framework
Another critical amendment suggests that monetizable digital objects should not be “transferred, directly or indirectly, to any gaming company for consideration.” This measure aims to exclude casinos and online gambling from the purview of the JONUM framework.
It’s worth noting that online casinos are currently illegal in France. However, in May, Philippe Latombe of the Democratic Movement party introduced Bill 1248, which outlined plans for the regulation of online casinos in France. The bill proposed a five-year moratorium during which online casino gambling would be permitted, but exclusively for “national actors.”
Another amendment seeks to remove the word “monetizable” from “monetizable digital games” in Article 15’s title. According to proponents of this amendment, this change would facilitate a clear distinction between JONUM and other forms of gambling, which are subject to specific public health regulations.
The amendments assert that JONUM currently meets four conditions that classify it as gambling: it is presented to the public, includes an element of chance, involves a financial investment, and offers a chance for monetization.