The online poker industry in France has been one of the most affected markets in the world and the constant decline has been of huge concern to poker players in France. ARJEL, the authority that regulates online poker in France has gone on record to say that the market shows no sign of improvement and will eventually collapse.
The president of ARJEL, Charles Coppolani received a lot of criticism for the negative publicity that ARJEL made against the online poker market and its players. The poker site Poker-Academie published an article called “ARJEL and the Imaginary World of Mr. Coppalini: It’s Time to Act, Now!” that pointed out a number of areas where ARJEL could address to improve the online poker industry immediately.
The article also blamed ARJEL for not being able to arrest the decline of online poker by stating that the house was on fire but ARJEL decided to look the other way instead of fixing burning issues. Coppolani has responded to the article by deciding to meet with a delegation of poker players to discuss their concerns and listen to their feedback.
Coppolani took over the ARJEL president’s role at the start of 2014 and since then has not been able to make any significant changes that impacted that online poker market. France’s poker industry has expressed their frustrations in Coppolani’s inadequacies and poor public awareness campaigns.
The ex- president of ARJEL, Jean-Fraçois Vilotte said
We need national regulations to be more flexible and regulators to have more decisional powers to effectively face market changes. Then, we also need to have a more global approach on the gambling sector and a better understanding of the market.
Coppolani has also been accused of being negative towards the online poker market as during his first media interview on becoming ARJEL’s president, he stated that poker is not popular anymore and a decline in the market is not a surprise. The online poker community is concerned that with this mindset, it will be hard for Coppolani to turn things around.
However, this is the first time that Coppolani is going to meet with the poker community and many are hopeful that this meeting might be a catalyst for change. The poker community wants ARJEL to consider lowering the rate of taxes and also setting up an international shared liquidity across Europe.