In an audacious move that is unlikely to endear it to a French government that has already warned about gambling groups anticipating the liberation of the French market next year by advertising, the Malta-registered sportsbetting site Zeturf reportedly did some effective campaigning last week.
The company contracted a full page in the free French Metro newspaper to coincide with the 88th edition of the major French horseracing event Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The race took place over the weekend at Longchamps, and the Zeturf publicity emphasised the better odds that online operators like Zeturf could offer the public.
The waves it created were sufficient to again prompt Eric Woerth, the French Budget Minister driving the liberation initiative, to reiterate his earlier warning about foreign and as yet unlicensed operators pre-empting the new regulatory regime by advertising.
The Minister told media that in his view the Metro 'advertorial' was a form of veiled advertising; read with his earlier warning that the French regulatory authorities could have a long memory when the issue of licenses is implemented, the incident does not bode well for Zeturf's future chances in a regulated and licensed French market going forward.