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French National Olympic and Sports Committee Calling for Increased Contributions
News Date: November 27, 2008

The French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) has recently called on the French government to implement higher taxes on sports bets that are placed at the Francąise des Jeux, which is the state owned gaming operation and which is a monopoly. This call comes on the heals of the recent decision by the French government to reduce the state's budget for sporting activities and other social causes from 2009.

The CNOSF announced to the French Minister of Finance that an increase in the current level of taxes from 1.8 percent to 2.3 percent is necessary in order to continue to facilitate the social and educational role that the sports sector currently plays in France. The estimated total budget for the sports sector in 2009 is €996 million, a 5 percent reduction year to year. Of that total amount, €209 million would be allocated to the National Sports Development Center (CNDS) for their use.

The CNOSF is an organization that consists of all French sports federations. It also represents the International Olympic Committee in France and has an important role in furthering the social and educational aspect of sport in the state.

At the French First National Sports Conference that was held in Paris early in November, the CEO of the Francąise des Jeux, M. Blanchard-Dignac was reported to say that the state should not withdraw from sports in order to benefit the private sector despite the role that the private sector has to play. He continued to say that while the private sector and the public sector of sports may have common interests that may meet at certain points, they do not have the same overall mission or the same objectives.

There are two possible outcomes if the French government agrees to implement the tax increases that have been proposed by the French National Olympics and Sports Committee. If they are passed, either the state would see a decrease in the amount of money they could retain or there would be a decreased amount of prize money paid out to winners at the Francąise des Jeux.

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