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France Opens up Online Gaming for World Cup

June 08, 2010

France is known for many things -- like fine wine, priceless art, idyllic towns and charming cafes.

And now, the country that brought us croissants can add "World Cup online gaming" to the list.

France officially opened up its online gaming market on Tuesday, granting 17 licenses to 11 operators three days before the start of the soccer World Cup in South Africa on June 11, the AFP reported.

The Authority for Online Gaming Regulation (Arjel) told news media that operators with a license for football or sporting bets could start their activities as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, in time for the World Cup, while the third category would get underway at the end of the month.

Just be careful if you bet on France to win any matches.

Four years after reaching the World Cup final and losing to Italy, France's Les Bleus is being pounded by the critics. Many even believe that France could lose to Uruguay as soon as Friday's opener, the AP reported.

A poll in Le Parisien newspaper showed half of the nation believed Les Bleus would not go beyond the quarterfinals. But coach Raymond Domenech remained optimistic, saying simply that France, after losing 1-0 to China in a World Cup prep game "just lacked the finishing touch."

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri