Much in the same way the Victor Chandler was recently summoned by Israeli officials to withdraw his online gambling operations from Israel, former Chief Executive of 888 Holdings, John Anderson, was recently called in by French authorities for what apparently is an inquisition in regards to 888’s sponsorship of the French football club, Toulouse.
888 Holdings, which owns and operates the popular gaming sites Reef Club Casino, Pacific Poker and Casino on Net (888), had ceased advertising for Toulouse in December, 2006 when the French government announced that certain forms of advertising, including ads for online gambling, were deemed illegal under French law. Taking this as a warning – which it was – 888 pulled their sponsorship. Despite the fact that Anderson is now an independent director with the company, he was CEO at the time of the Toulouse sponsorship deal.
Perhaps French authorities have not realized that 888 had pulled their advertising, or, perhaps they are simply taking their admonition a step further considering the fact that 888 continues permitting French players to open accounts at their online casinos and roulette room. 888 themselves do not have much to go on at this time. What is certain is that the French gambling monopoly has been frowning upon the international online gambling and sports betting scene.
Last year, two CEO’s of the online sports betting site, Bwin, were arrested in France, while as recent as last month, French authorities cancelled the European Poker Tour’s four-day tournament scheduled last week at the Casino Barrière de Deauville, presumably because of its sponsorship by the online poker site, Poker Stars. There is no word just yet whether criminal charges have been made against Anderson.