France has both a liberal and conservative view towards gambling, depending on how you look at it. Some forms of online gambling are legal in the country, and they are regulated by the French Gambling Authority. These forms of gambling are sports betting, horse race betting and poker. Whereas, casino games in the likes of slot machines and roulette are illegal. The government’s argument is that these games are highly addictive and damaging to individuals.
Many comply with the government’s view of things, but those who disagree have sought to take their gambling activities at foreign-based gambling sites, which is technically not breaking French law.
Land-based gambling is also legal in the country in many forms, and a high number of land casinos are prevalent across the country’s territory, boasting hundreds of gambling machines.
This article will cover everything you need to know about the status of gambling in France, both online and offline. If you are looking to get started with playing, have look at our list of recommended French online betting sites, which have been pre-approved by in-house team of gambling experts.
Smartphone have had a significant impact on the landscape of online casinos over the past few years, resulting in the rise of mobile casinos as a preference over desktop and laptop gaming.
Due to smartphones reaching through all spheres of everyday life, online casinos were quick to adapt by offering mobile-optimized websites for gambling enthusiasts to game on the go. Some betting sites also offer standalone apps for iOS and Android devices, whereas others can be accessed via your smartphone or tablet’s web browser.
France ranks 7th in the world by smartphone penetration, as over 76% of the country’s populace own a smartphone. The most popular smartphone devices in France are mainly Apple products, with models such as the iPhone X, XR, SE, 7, and 6S leading the charge. In terms of Android, Samsung Galaxy devices are at the frontier, with the S7, S8 and S9 models. The 4G network is prevalent in many of France’s regions, boasting high download/upload speeds and stable connections that go towards uninterrupted data connections on the go. This means that French gamers can easily enjoy mobile casinos on the go with little to no lag issues and interruptions in gameplay.
Our French casino reviews place a large emphasis on mobile support. A casino without mobile optimization is as good as dead in the water, as it risks losing out on a majority of their customers. Thus, all modern online casinos boost mobile support, especially those catering to French players.
Gambling in France has a rich history, and many games we know today, at least in one of their forms, have been invented in the country. Most notably, the Roulette wheel was invented in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal, a prominent French mathematician at the time. Even to this day, Roulette is separated in 3 variants: French, American and European. France is also the origin country of Parimutuel betting, which was said to be invented in the late 18th century. During the 18th century, it is also said that Blackjack made its origins in France, under the name of “chemin de fer”.
The country has always held a more lenient approach towards gambling in terms of legislation, with gambling having a legal status ever since the late 20th century. Gambling in France has a legal status since the late 20th century. In 1987, the minimum gambling age was lowered to 18 from 21. The year after, slot machines were made legal in the country. Land casinos are fully legal in France, and can be found in great volume widespread across the country’s territory.
Some of the most popular land casinos are the Casino Le Lyon Vert, the Casino Deauville and the Casino Barriere Enghien-Les-Bains. These bricks and mortar establishments are host to a myriad of Table Games, and hundreds of Slot Machines. Moreover, they are paired with luxury hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
The short answer is, French-based online casinos are not legal in France. To be more precise, casino games such as Roulette and Slot Machines cannot be included in French-based online betting sites, whereas online poker, horse racing and sports betting are completely legal and operators can acquire online betting licenses to serve customers. In terms of online gambling, the country has made several advancements in the 00’s. Namely, in 2006, the French government was requisitioned by the European Commission to amend its online gambling laws, as they did not comply with EU laws, criticizing several factors of France’s gambling legislation:
In 2010, the French government introduced the French Gambling Act, which came into effect on May 13th of the same year. This move liberalized the French online gambling market, and paved the way for foreign companies to be able to acquire 3 types of gambling licenses:
Casino games were not made legal under this law, as the government deemed them too addictive and damaging to individuals. This means that online Video Slots and Table Games in the likes of Roulette are not allowed on French online gambling sites. Whereas, games like Poker are considered a game of skill where the player has a fair amount of control over the outcome, thus making it legal for online play and participation. The bottom line is that in terms of online gambling, the French people don’t have many options besides resorting to off-shore based online casinos. This is not exactly legal, but nothing in French law makes it illegal for French residents to engage in online wagers at casinos and sportsbooks situated outside of France.
The problem comes from the French government, which is strict in pursuing foreign operators that aim to offer services to French player. Thus, the number of foreign online casinos that accept French players is limited, and long-term reliable casino gaming may still be out of reach for the French people for the considerable future. However, not all is doom and gloom for French online gambling enthusiasts. There are still dozens of reputable online casinos accepting of French players, and we make sure to feature them prominently on our web site, backed with thorough reviews by our team of experts to let you know exactly what you can expect.
We hope that the French amends its gambling legislation to allow for casino games in the future, but that still seems far from happening, as the government’s stance on the subject is pretty firm.
The French have a long history of gambling, and the country’s culture has influenced other countries as much as it has been influenced by other countries itself. This means that all sorts of games have been historically popular across the country, and remain so through this day.
With the advent of online gambling, players can enjoy a wide variety of games such as:
Of course, casino games of chance are not legal on French soil, but they can be enjoyed at foreign online gambling sites. Sports betting is also extremely popular in France, given the country’s obsession with sports such as football. Race betting is also prominent, ranging from horse racing to greyhound racing and motor sports betting.
The amount of French betting sites and foreign online casino websites accepting of French players is high, which may baffle newcomers and make their choice on where to play quite difficult. This is where we come in. Our reviews will guide your hand by giving all the required information you need prior to making a decision on where to play. As you read on, you will learn more about our review process, where we single out the most important factors we look at when determining the quality of an online casino. Of course, you can skip this read and head on over to our list of recommended French online casinos, which have been thoroughly vetted and pre-approved by our dedicated team of online gambling experts.
The French-based online betting sites licensed by the country’s Gambling Authority ARJEL hold strict regulations in place to make sure players are treated fairly, with security and fair play being the focal points of their rules and guidelines. The CSA (Independent Authority of Protecting Freedom of Audiovisual Communication) and ADLC (French Competition Authority) also go towards protecting player interests, meaning it is virtually impossible to be scammed by a French online betting site, as the risks would be too high for the operators, with little to no gain on their part. In terms of foreign betting sites welcoming of French players, we are happy to report that many of them are licensed by trustworthy regulatory bodies, such as the Isle of Man, Panama and the Malta Gaming Authority. Of course, our team of experts hand picks only the most reliable betting sites, so that you can have a worry-free gambling experience no matter which casino you select.
French-based online betting sites are naturally available in the country’s domestic language. Many foreign-based online casinos are also available in French, and offer the EUR as a currency for players to operate their accounts in. Many foreign online casinos also accept French players, but are available in English and some Nordic languages. Still, this should not deter you from playing at these sites, as long as you have a basic understanding of English to smoothen your gaming sessions.
Customer support is of essential importance at French online casino, as it is with any online casino. Fortunately, French players can rely on top-tier customer support at most gambling operators, especially those recommended by our website. This means professional and friendly live chat service, typically available 24/7 – 7 days of the week. On top of that, you can also expect telephone customer support, as well as email support channels with quick response times. For the most efficient support service, it is best to contact live chat, as response times are typically a few minutes, meaning your issue or question will be resolved in no time. Software Providers and Gaming Selection for French Online Casino Players Foreign-based online casinos that accept French players boast games by the industry’s most esteemed gaming suppliers: NetEnt, Microgaming, Rabcat, Thunderkick, Yggdrasil, Play N Go, Quickspin – to name a few. This is why many casinos boast over a 1000 top-quality casino games of all kinds. As such, you can expect virtually limitless entertainment, variety and new game releases on a regular basis.
Slot Machines Slot machines are by far the most popular game type across online casinos. Some French online casinos over 1000+ slots alone, meaning potential for hundreds of hours of top-quality entertainment and most importantly – excellent winning potential. Slots are generally separated in 3 categories: Classic, Video and Progressives. The Classic slot is a 3-reeled slot machine that will take you back into time when these games were the dominant slot of choice. Video Slots are the modern evolution of the slot machine, boasting the best graphics, themes and bonus features, whereas Progressive Jackpot slots can reward you with millions of Euros derived from a single spin.
Table Games Table Games in the likes of Blackjack, Roulette, Blackjack and Poker are prominent at every French online casino. What’s more, in addition to the basic variants of these games, online casinos also feature dozens of unique variants that will add extra spice to your gaming experience.
Live Casino Foreign-online casinos powered by Evolution Gaming offer the French people an immersive gaming experience through live dealer tables that is unmatched in the online world. These games are powered by HD streams, feature a myriad of unique betting options, dozens of innovative table games, and the ability to interact with the dealers in real time. A must-try for any gambling enthusiast.
Bonuses are a major point of each online casino when it comes to attracting new customers. French people are no exception in the eyes of operators, which means you can expect hefty welcome bonuses to facilitate your new membership at any online casino. Beyond that, you can expect regular promotions in the form of free spins, match deposit bonuses, loyalty schemes and VIP programs.
Welcome Bonuses The Welcome Bonus is unparalleled in value among online casinos. Generally reserved to newcomers as an exclusive one-time offer, the Welcome Bonus will typically match your first deposit by 100%, up to a certain amount (€100, €200, €300, €500). What makes up the value of a Welcome Bonus are more often the bonus terms, rather than the bonus amount itself. Keep this in mind before claiming an offer, as a €500 bonus is worth nothing if it is coupled with unrealistic wagering requirements.
Free Spins Bonuses Coincidental with the popularity of Slot Machines, Free Spins bonuses became commonplace in the online gambling world. Many Free Spins bonuses are often conjoined with Welcome Bonuses, but sometimes they come as standalone offers in order to entice newcomers or retain existing customers.
No Deposit Bonuses The No Deposit Bonus is a rare find among online casinos. Yet, when you come across one, you lose nothing by claiming it, but have a chance of winning money with no strings attached. Simply put, a no deposit bonus is given to you with no deposit required on your part. These bonuses have high wagering requirements, and a typical cashout limit of €100, but they’re a good chance at exploring an online casino with the chance of winning some extra cash in the process.
No. The government does not view gambling as a profitable activity, and it does not tax any individuals on their gambling winnings, regardless of the amount won. An exception is made for professional poker players, as the government considers they have much larger control on their gambling ventures and profits.
Absolutely. Euros are the primary currency at all French gambling websites, as well as foreign European online casinos licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, Panama, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and UK Gambling Commission.
##Is It Safe To Play at French Online Casinos? It is perfectly safe to play at French online gambling websites licensed by the country’s French Gambling Authority (ARJEL). At these sites, you can enjoy sports betting, horse race betting, and poker games and tournaments. As far as gambling at off-shore online casinos is concerned, you would not be breaking the law by doing so, but there are not too many online casinos accepting of French players, at least in comparison to other countries were online gambling is also illegal.
Yes. Many games on offer at French Online Casinos have a free demo mode which lets you try out any game you like indefinitely. This gives you a great opportunity to test out a game you might like before digging in and playing with real money.
Yes. Bonuses are common across French betting sites, and you can expect them in many forms. The most common bonus type is the Welcome Bonus, often doubling your initial deposit and letting you extract higher profits from your deposits as a new player.
This would depend on the payment method you are using to withdraw cash from the casino. In general, Bank Transfer tend to charge larger fixed fees for withdrawals from online casinos. In contrast, e-wallet payouts and credit/debit card payouts are free of any fees, unless currency conversion is involved in the process.
To receive any winnings generated through gambling, any French casino member must verify his identity at their gambling site of choice. This is accomplished by sending out relevant identification documents to the casino’s support team, such as a photo of your personal ID, accompanied by a utility bill to your name no older than 3-6 months, and in some cases, a photo or scan of the credit or debit card you used to make a deposit.
Withdrawal times are highly dependent on your withdrawal method. Casinos process all payouts in the same manner, and the processing times is usually no longer than 24 hours. After processing complete, the time it takes for your cash to arrive in your account depends on which payout option you are using. Generally, e-wallet payouts take 24 hours, credit/debit card payouts may take up to a 5 business days, whereas bank transfer payouts may take up to 2 working weeks.
French residents can benefit from many EU-friendly payment options at online casinos, ranging from all types such as Bank Transfer, credit and debit cards, e-wallets and prepaid cards. Below we will list the most common payment options available to French gamers:
Cryptocurrency is also a viable option, although the layman would need to do some research on how to setup a crypto wallet and manage currency conversion. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are the most commonly accepted cryptocurrencies among online casinos. If fast payouts and minimal fees are in your best interest, we recommend either Neteller, Skrill or cryptocurrency as your primary banking option.