Geographically speaking France is the biggest country in the EU, covering an area of 633 187 km2 that goes from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. In this area with a diverse landscape lives a population of 66 415 161 people, data of 2015, 13,1% of the whole European Union.
The capital of France is the world-known Paris, and the official language is French. The country was a founding member of the EU, on January 1st, 1958, and is a member of the Eurozone since January 1st, 1999.
When thinking about gambling, is hard not to think about France, as it’s one of the countries with more gambling history, and even today it’s one of the favorite pastimes for the locals. Gambling is perfectly legal in France, being card games, horse races, slots and sports betting the most popular.
The French are directly connected to the history and development of gambling, as it’s said that in the 16th century the French decided to add the Queen to the decks of cards we still use today. Apart from this marking innovation, France also created the roulette back in the 17th century.
Gambling is regulated by the Ministry of Justice, and in 1987 the legal age came down to 18 years old, after a previous period where that age was 21. 1998 market the year when slots were legalized.
When we say that gambling is a legal activity we mean that land-based operators can offer all the betting games they want, and the same happens with web-based operators, with the exception of casino games.
Taxes are very high in France and that is the reason why is hard for licensed sites to make it in the market. We find that close to 50% of the companies that got online gambling licenses in the past five years already closed doors in France. As players are affected by this too, many of them prefer to gamble on unlicensed foreign sites.
Gambling on foreign unlicensed sites is allowed by the French government, so players can actually choose the sites of their preference.
The licensed operators are regulated by three different French entities: Française des Jeux (regulates lotteries and betting), ARJEL (exclusively online gambling) and Pari Mutuel Urbain (horse races).
ARJEL is, therefore, responsible for licensing operators that want to enter the online gambling market. Naturally, applicants need to follow the country’s legislation on the matter, and if they do so they will get a license for operating five years that can be extended for an additional five years after expiration.
New 2009 legislation made official three types of online gambling: poker, sports betting, and horse races betting.
Online gambling started officially in France around 2005, and since then a lot of changes have happened in what concerns taxes and regulations. This initial legislation in France was found noncompliance with the existing rules by the European Commission that asked the country to make changes to gambling legislation.
If in the beginning, just a few local companies had a license to operate online gambling, these days we find a large number of companies, national and international, licensed by France. 2009 was the year that the market was open to other EU member countries to make it more competitive.
2010 brought new changes, after pressure from the EU regarding restricting provisions in the legislation, and the new Gambling Act (2010-476) was approved, establishing ARJEL (French Regulatory Authority for Online Games).
Similarly to what happens in another country, this Gambling Act ended the gambling monopoly held by the government, and it opened the market to free competition from other EU members.
The most recent changes in laws raised a lot of complaints and criticism because it limits online gambling to poker, sports betting, and horse racing, leaving out traditional casino games.
Gambling Online in France
When gambling online in France, we have quite a few options, so we just mention here a few quality casinos.
|Euro Palace||Video Slots||Guts Casino|
|Royal Panda||Royal Vegas||Mr Green|