French casino chairman fined over online gaming

Paris (Reuters) – A French court handed the chairman of Groupe Partouche, one of France’s leading casino operators, a suspended prison sentence and 40,000 euros (USD 52,860) fine on Thursday for breaking laws limiting online gaming.

rosecutors had accused Patrick Partouche, who is reportedly seeking to sell his company, of complicity in lending his name to an online poker site based outside the country.

Partouche’s lawyers declined to comment on the court decision.

The court in Nanterre near Paris also found two other administrators of the site guilty of breaking the law and sentenced them to suspended prison sentences and fines. The company Partouche International was fined 150,000 euros.

Shares in Groupe Partouche had surged 6.5 percent to 18.99 euros on Thursday on rumors the company could be sold.

Partouche has made no secret of his willingness to sell the group although last month rejected an offer of 21.5 euros a share from a property developer.

The Partouche family owns 70.55 percent of the company’s capital and voting rights, according to a regulatory disclosure last month.