France reportedly looking to relax geographical restrictions to allow smaller cities to host casinos
French authorities are reportedly mulling plans to relax geographic restrictions placed on casinos to allow smaller tourist-friendly towns and cities to host brick-&-mortar casinos. Emerging media reports claim that President Emmanuel Macron-led French government is all set to consider a provision to expand the casino industry to smaller towns and cities that have the potential to attract more tourists.
France is already home to more than 200 casinos, most of which are being operated by local gaming & entertainment companies like Joa Groupe, Groupe Partouche, and Groupe Lucien Barriere. But, the country’s current federal legislation stipulates that casinos can only be setup in seaside resorts, spa towns or cities that have a population of more than 500,000.
Jean-Luc Warsmann, a 55-year-old member of the French National Assembly, has reportedly revealed that the country’s Interior Ministry is considering provision that could relax the current restrictions and expand the geographic requirements to include any town or city with a population of more than 100,000.
Warsmann represents the area around Sedan, and he has long been trying to pave way to bring a casino to the Ardennes town that has a population of just 16,500 people.
The legislator advocated for bringing a gambling facility to the Ardennes town, saying it would protect France’s fiscal interests by keeping the country’s hard-earned money within its boundaries.
Speaking on the topic, he said, “A lot of Ardennais play at casinos in Belgium because there is no casino in our department. I insist on defending France’s fiscal interests. In addition, a casino is a lever of attraction for the territories.”
Sedan is situated alongside the banks of the River Meuse, just eight miles from France-Belgium border. It serves as the administrative center of a region that has a population of around 275,000 people. Warsmann wants the national government to approve a plan to allow this city’s 15th century castle, the seven-story Chateau de Sedan, to host a casino.
Claiming that he has the backing of President Macron, Warsmann stressed that relaxing geographic restrictions to allow smaller tourist-friendly towns and cities to host casinos would provide a much-needed boost to local economies as the gambling facilities would generate a new stream of revenue in the form of taxes. As the minister believes he has the backing of President Macron, the changes seem more than likely to come.