A decree stipulating the conditions for “clubs de jeux (gaming clubs) in Paris” along with provisions related to casinos has been signed by the Minister of the Interior and was published by the government of France on May 10, according to G3Newswire.

The body of text is a completion of the law of February 28, 2017, in relation to the status of Paris and metropolitan planning, which ends the ban on gaming within Paris effective January 1, 2018. The antiquated law, which bans “gambling games within 100 kilometers of Paris” and dates back to 1907, was amended 20 years later when the Barriére Group received permission to operate a casino in Enghien-les-Bains, located within 11 kilometers north of Paris. The law will be replaced with a three-year experimental period with the operation of gaming clubs by commercial companies. The games that will be allowed in the clubs are indicated in the decree.

The decree’s purpose is the repeal of the framework of legal rules that govern gaming clubs; to commence from January 1, 2018 for a period of three years, with the opening of the clubs authorized for the operation of certain games; and to strengthen the administration’s ability to fight what it reportedly describes as the capitalist takeover of companies operating gambling clubs and casinos funded by capital of “doubtful origin” or money laundering.

Currently, only one authorized gaming operation exists in Paris, Clichy-Montmartre, which will benefit from the decree’s transitional provisions that are specific to clubs de jeux should it eventually want to become a gaming club. Clichy-Montmartre currently operates a 30-table poker establishment with a bar and restaurant service.

With the exception of provisions contained in the Decree; Chapter II, 1 of Article 20 and 2 of Article 21, which will be effective on January 1, 2018, the text is effective the day after it is published. However, for a one-year period from the same date, the clubs de jeux will benefit from an operating license which will be effective beginning December 31, 2017, and will continue to be governed by the provisions specific to them in the draft prior to the latest decree. However, to take advantage of the status of gaming clubs from January 1, 2018, authorization for the filing of applications to be approved is effective September 1, 2017.

According to the news release, the following games will be allowed to operate in the new clubs de jeux; Ultimate poker; punto banco; stud poker; Hold’em poker casino; Poker 21; Three card poker; Railway Baccarat; Multicoloured billiards; Two-bank open-bank baccarat; Two-bank baccarat limited-bank; Mahjong; and poker variations specified in article R. 321-39 of the code of internal security.

Potential candidates for the operation of clubs de jeux are waiting to hear what the Ministry of the Budget determines the taxation will be. The provisions contained in the Decree regarding the gaming clubs could reportedly be part of a supplementary budget law either in July or in September. If it’s the latter, in light of the considerable administrative delays in the opening of a club, chances are slim to none that everything will be completed by January 1, 2018.

Recently, another decree redefining the conditions for operating casinos on board merchant ships that are carrying French passengers was published in the Official Gazette and will reportedly be effective starting July I, 2017.

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