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 Bingo could hit French cafes

September 18, 2009 by David Snook

 The long-suffering French cafes may get some relief if a move in the French Parliament permits bingo games.

One of the deputies is fostering the bid, as a means of bringing a positive future to the cafés, a French tradition that many believe is under severe threat since the smoking ban and the recession. The French coin machine industry has tried for years to obtain some form of AWP, but this has always been refused.

Bingo games are popular in neighbouring Belgium, where there are 11,000 of them in cafés. There are three major manufacturers in Belgium, Splin, Eurautomat and Seeben, all of whom would welcome the opportunity of sending their bingo games across the border.

Feelings are mixed however. Michel Denis at Splin commented: "I don’t think it will happen. We have seen attempts to do this for the past 20 years, but French governments have always sought to protect their lottery, the Francaise des Jeux."

At Seeben, Urbain Thewissen commented: "The French cafés are under pressure, there’s no doubt. If they put the machines online they would be very secure. If that market opened to bingo games it would offer an immediate 100,000 machine market."