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The Guardian is reporting today that online gambling group PartyGaming has closed its French website, without notifying investors.  One shareholder has offloaded around £50m of stock in the firm.

Meanwhile, John Anderson, the former chief executive of 888 Holdings, has been summoned for interview by the French authorities, prompting speculation that French authorities are about to crackdown on online gambling.

This in itself is prompting speculation that the French and American governments actually agree on something.

After the US clampdown on internet gambling last October, the last thing PartyGaming and other gambling groups need is yet more uncertainty over the legality of their operations.

While current legal opinion says that online gambling is legal in the EU, our Gallic friends have been lobbying against this.

It is probably no coincidence that the French government controls two related gambling monopolies - PMU for betting and Francaise de Jeux for gaming. The success of online gambling constitutes a threat to these operations.

888 has marketed itself aggressively in France, including a short-lived shirt sponsorship deal with Toulouse FC. This was before French football authorities banned online gambling firms from such marketing.

It is believed that the French authorities' request to question 888's John Anderson has something to do with this sponsorship deal.

In other online gambling news, SportingBet has reported a 54% increase in operating profit, adding that it had so far avoided any conflict with French authorities.


Graham Charlton

Published 1 March, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (2)


Anurag Dikshit

Anurag Digshit has struck it rich to the tune of billions of pounds, thanks to the phenomenal growth in online poker, especially his company PartyGaming.

The 33-year-old Digshit created the technology behind online poker. He says, " I am happy to speak. I am not media shy. Just lazy. My life is easy yaar. I cannot convey to you the depth of ease of my life. I have always looked to take the soft option. I was a millionaire though before playing games at parties. When I was 22 years old I took the decision that I wanted to be a millionaire without working. I just sat at home for four years and wrote letters to 50 billionaires imploring them for money.

This is a copy of the letter that I wrote on 10 January 1994.

Dear ……………………..,

My name is Anurag. You sir are a great man. Like you I am lazy. I do not want to work though I have a degree in computer science. I would rather have things handed down to me like you. My life would be easy if you send me one million dollars every year.

I could do so many things with this money. I will not have to work. My parents have retired. So there is no source of income. If you do not send me money I and my mummy Poopy and daddy Dipshit will starve. Would you want that on your conscience?

If you send me money then I can just sit at home, eat buffet meals and watch movies. Blessed is the hand that giveth. I will always pray for you because God works in mysterious ways. My happiness rests in your hands. An early reply is awaited.


30 of them responded by sending one million dollars each for starters every year. That amount rose to five million dollars in 1997. Due to the confidentiality agreement I cannot disclose any names. By 1998 I was worth over 350 million dollars without having raised a finger. I then went on a holiday to Britain where I met a pornster who was on the dole. She wanted to start an online gambling den.

I agreed to help as I had basic computer knowledge. I developed the software. It was so easy yaar. I worked for six hours each week developing the software. I dig the easy life man. My energy levels are low. That is why I now own 40 per cent of the company, which is worth about £2.2 billion. So spectacular has been the rise in Internet poker that I own the world's largest Internet poker company,

As long as online poker is addictive I can just sit at home and count my money. I do not have to go out there and work for my bread. I do not have to work full time for a few lousy 40K at the end of the month. I dig that yaar. Money has never been important to me. Why should it be when it so easily available? My energy levels are low. That is why PartyGaming is a business worth £5.5 billion today. I cannot convey to you the depth of ease of my life.

My energy levels are low yaar. I pity my countrymen. They have to
slog for 25 hours each week for the sake of a lousy 40k each month. IIT graduates have to slave at tech sweatshops. India is poor because NRI bastard billionaires like Lakshmi Mittal, Gopichand Hinduja, Mr. Aggarwal, Tom Singh and me are just not willing to share their easily gotten wealth.
My modus operandi was like this. I heard in 1998 that 10 million Americans have a online gambling addiction problem. That represented a huge opportunity for partygaming. They always craved a piece of the action. I just facilitated it like a drug dealer. Soon, it
spiralled out of control and partygaming's profits rose as people took out fourth and fifth mortgages to pay for using us. I cannot convey to you the depth of ease of my life as a result.

I would compare it to a cocaine addiction, the high you get from that. That is the euphoria I felt working for five to six hours each week. I would work for two hours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I have always had a psychological block to work everyday. The lining up the money, winning or losing does not matter to the
visitors of partygaming. It just sets them up to bet again on poker.

I know 100,000 Americans who thanks to partygaming.com have accrued $40,00,00,00 each in gambling debts. Desperate, they began stealing from clients. And when they got caught they left their families and fled. That is good for partygaming.com's multi billion dollar revenue. The situation became so dire, that some of our clients contemplate killing themselves. If they cannot do it I will facilitate that as well like a drug dealer. As partygaming becomes more popular and more sites crop up, those numbers are expected to increase.

The revenue-generating stream for partygaming.com will grow thanks to the popularity of poker. Half of all men in college are gambling on an monthly basis — even though betting on partygaming.com is illegal like drugs everywhere in the US except Nevada. Therefore what partygaming.com is doing is wrong. But if I was bothered about that then I would not be an easy money
billionaire today yaar. Betting is the rock of Gibraltar. It's American, like apple pie. That will always be there. People love to bet on it. People love to bet on their football games. If you or your loved ones have a gambling problem please do not approach me for help. I have neither conscience nor pity. I am just lazy.

I cannot convey to you the depth of ease of my life. Now I will take my easy and ill-gotten wealth to an island in the Carribean and retire. I intend to rust in peace till at least 2020. I will get up each morning at 9:30 and stuff myself with a buffet breakfast. On Monday I will have five boiled eggs, three glasses of chocolate milkshake. On Tuesday I will have seven sausages, three plates of scrambled eggs one mango juice and one sweet limejuice. On Wednesday I will have ten strips of bacon and Chicken Apple Sausage. On Thursday I will have four omelettes, pork chops and eggs and four glasses of black coffee. On Friday I will have six poached eggs, five slices of ham, corn beef hash, one glass of pineapple juice, one glass of watermelon juice, one glass of sweet lime juice, one Pepsi and one diet coke.

Since Sunday is a day of rest I will only have two slices of toast with cheese and a glass of milk. After my breakfast I will nap for 20 minutes. Then I will run like a rabbit to the Dee Vee Dee library and get a movie. Then I will wank. Then I will watch the movie. Then I will have lunch at 1. On Monday I will have three glasses of red red wine and an extra large T-Bone steak to fill my sagging belly. I will have three chocolate mousses.

On Tuesday I will have two seafood platters, three plates of BBQ beef, two plates of pork ribs, fried catfish, Southern fried chicken .
and three glasses of booze. I will as a result probably keep spitting food out back on to my plate. But when you are filthy rich etiquette is not important. That is what my pa Mr. Dipshit taught me. My parents came from a toilet. The first words I learnt were poop bum. On Wednesday I will have four lobsters and crab bake. I do not have to work for any of this of course.
On Thursday I will have four pina coladas like Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek in the movie After The Sunset. Watch how they enjoy life on the beach. That is going my life for the next fourteen years yaar. I will also have four plates of Chicken Tikka, four plates of shrimp, four plates of reshmi Kasbabs. On Friday I will three prawn salads, four plates of oysters, two plates of hakka noodles, two tequilas and one marguerita. I will be totally drunk but since I am gainfully unemployed that is not an issue. On Saturday I will have six fish cakes, three fried chickens, assorted cheeses.

Since Sunday is a day of rest I will only have rice and a Jamaican Curry chicken. After lunch each day I will sleep for three hours in the afternoon from two till five pm while the food digests. Since I do not hold a job I do not have to worry about staying awake the whole day. I consider that to be hard work. Afternoon sleep happens after lunch. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition among billionaires in the Carribean islands.

I cannot convey to you the depth of ease of my life. As a child I always slept the siesta. In recent years, studies have suggested a biological need for afternoon sleep among billionaires.
Researchers found that subjects of the studies felt that it was easiest to fall asleep at night and in the afternoon. Eating lunch does bring
on drowsiness in the afternoon. There is a lot of loss of alertness and a decrease in body temperature that occurs around midday, which also helps bring on this drowsiness. These symptoms are similar to what happens at night during the first stage of sleep and are caused by Ultradian rhythms in the Circadian rhythm, also called the "internal body clock".

The studies have shown that there is a strong biological tendency for billionaires who do not have to work to become tired and possibly fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon. Sleep allows a person
to wake up feeling refreshed and much more alert. Research shows that the drop in body temperature causing drowsiness around midday is considerably more pronounced in billionaires than in poor people who worry about their next meal.

In the evening I will watch the same movie again. Then I will wank. Then I will swim in the pool at seven in the evening for one hour. I will think dreamily about what would have happened had I not begged billionaires for money.

I would have had to stay awake the whole day and work at a job for a lousy 20k each month. That is difficult yaar. Anyway I will have dinner at nine. At 10:30 I will go to sleep. The next day will be as soothing and relaxing. Once more I cannot convey to you the depth of ease of my life. By 2020 I will be as big as WWE's Big Show thanks to my incessant eating, sleeping and watching movies. That is my ambition in life."

over 9 years ago


stefan k

So the latest is that traditional, french owned bookmakers are to be allowed. But betting exchanges and offshore bookies will not.... what rubbish!

Petition against this at www.right2bet.net !

almost 7 years ago

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