France is a beautiful country in Europe situated at the Western part. It has one of the richest histories and a serious player on the European territory. Moreover, the country also has a long history of gambling and this activity has become one of the most popular pastimes for local people over the years.
Gambling in France is entirely legal and regulated. There are many sportsbooks, casinos and other gambling activities in the country and they are all legally accepted in the offline gambling industry. When it comes to remote aka online gambling, things are a bit different. Nowadays card games are especially popular among French gamblers and so are sports betting, slots and horse racing.
This article deals with the subject of offline and online gambling in France.
Gambling in France – Overview
Gambling in this frequently visited European country has a legal status. Back in 1987, the minimum age for engaging in gambling was reduced from 21 to 18. The year afterwards, slot machine games became legal and accepted.
Two main regulatory bodies are responsible for the gambling market in France. These are the Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU). They are both government owned. The former body regulates horse racing in the country while the later deals with lotteries and sports betting.
With the introduction of the Internet, gambling moved onto the online market so in 2010, the government made online gambling legal. However, under the laws, the following online gambling activities are allowed: online sports betting, online horse race betting and online poker games, namely Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker 4. Online casino gaming is still illegal. The online gambling activities in France are supervised by ARJEL or by the Regulatory authority for online games.
Online Sports Betting in France
The country started embracing online gambling back in 2005. However, despite the interest, the European Union analyzed the market and obliged France to make amendments in its gambling laws. Initially, land based sportsbooks were given the license to operate online sports betting websites, but up to date, there is a large number of betting sites from offshore that offer this activity and are licensed by the country’s gambling regulator.
The biggest changes in online gambling in the country came in 2010 when the Gambling Act No. 2010-476 was passed into law. This also resulted in the establishment of the French Regulatory Authority for Online Games or ARJEL. According to this Act, the Internet gambling activities available to French people are online sports betting, namely fixed odds betting, live/in-play betting and pool betting as well as online poker and horse betting. Therefore, if you are a fan of sports and want to bet on a sports event, you can do this both online and offline.
Online Casinos and Their Legality
As previously mentioned, while land based casinos are accepted, online casino sites are still illegal in France. Casino games are not licensed nor regulated because lawmakers in the country believe that they are very addictive. One may argue that poker is legal and can be played at casinos, but in this game the outcome depends on the player’s skills and gamers can change their techniques based on the situation. Betting exchange and spread betting on the Internet are also illegal.