Simon’s Guide to Gambling in French Guiana

View from the Ile Royal in French Guiana

French Guiana

Most forms of gambling are legal and thoroughly regulated in French Guiana. French Guiana is an overseas department of France, located on the northeastern coast of South America. The head of state of overseas departments is the President of the French Republic. French Guiana is represented in the Senate and the National Assembly, but does not legislate for itself. As a result, the same gambling laws apply as in France.

Providing gambling services in France and any of the overeas department requires a gambling licence. Gambling permissions are issued by the Ministry of Justice. Licensed operators must abide by the French gambling regulations- intended mainly to prevent addiction – and pay gambling taxes as well as licensing fees. These costs can be prohibiting for many companies looking to provide gambling services within France.

There are several state-owned companies supervising certain areas of gambling activities in France, as well as privately owned gambling operators. The main companies covering gambling in France are Pari Mutuel Urbaine for horse race betting, Francaise des Jeux for other kinds of sports betting as well as lotteies, and Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) for online gambling.

Online gambling was legalised in France – and thus in French Guiana in 2010. This regulation, often referred to as the French Gambling Act, legalises and regulates three forms of online gambling: online horse race betting, online sports betting and online poker. Online casino games are not allowed, as they are considered to be more addictive.

The high gambling taxes apply to companies providing gambling services as well. This has resulted in a relatively low number of licensed online gambling companies. Residents of French Guiana are free to play on any international online gambling sites as well, though the French government has made efforts to have ISPs block unlicensed gambling sites.


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Casino gambling in French Guiana


Online casino gambling in French Guiana: illegal, players are not prosecuted


Casino gambling is legal in French Guiana. However, there are currently no actual casinos in operation within French Guiana. The city of Kourou has been working on a casino project for quite a while, and there have also been talks of a Dutch company being granted a licence to construct and operate an additional casino.

Just as in France, online casino gambling is not among the activities permitted by the gambling regulations. Online casino games are believed to have a detrimental effect on the residents of the country due to their addictive nature. Still, there are no laws against French Guianese gamblers playing on international online casino sites.



Bingo in French Guiana


Online bingo in French Guiana: legal, state monopoly


Bingo is legal in France and all of its overseas departments, including French Guiana. The game generally played in France differs from the US version in that bingo cards have more rows, though the basics of the game are the same. Currently there don’t seem to be any bingo halls in operation in the territory.

Online bingo is also legal in French Guiana. It is not included among the types of games for which companies may apply for a gambling licence. Online bingo is considered to be a lottery style game, and as such it is covered by the monopoly of FDJ. Apart from the 6 bingo games offered on FDJ’s website, locals may also play on international bingo sites available to them.



Poker in French Guiana


Online poker in French Guiana: legal, requires licence


Poker is legal in French Guiana, but there are no dedicated poker halls in operation within the territory. Poker is also often played at casinos, but with a lack of such establishments, French Guianese poker players would be hard pressed to find regular live poker games.

The best option for them is most likely online poker. Online poker is legal in France and its overseas department, as it is considered a game of skill and not a traditional casino game. There are about 15 online gambling operators licensed to offer online poker games within France and French Guiana. French Guianese poker players are “fenced off” from the international market, and may only play against others from France or its overseas departments.



Sports betting in French Guiana


Online sports betting in French Guiana: legal, requires licence


Sports betting is legal and quite popular in all of France. It is divided into two categories: horse race betting, which is controlled by PMU and wagering on other sports, which is the area of FDJ. Pari mutuel betting, in fact originates from France and is a popular pastime within the country. There are no racetracks within French Guiana, though.

The easiest way for French Guianese gamblers to wager on sports events is through the internet. Both the PMU and the FDJ have websites, the former offering horse race betting and the latter other sports events. French Guianese bettors may wager on French and international events as well. There are also other licensed online sports betting operators in france, but none based specifically in French Guiana.



Lottery in French Guiana


Online lottery in French Guiana: legal, state monopoly


The French national lottery is in the hands of FDJ, which has a monopoly over lottery style games within the country and overseas department. Apart from traditional lottery draws, scratchcards and bingo are also available. French Guiana has no lottery of its own.

Tickets for the lotteries and games of FDJ are also available for buying online, providing easy acccess from French Guiana. As the monopoly of FDJ extends to online lotteries as well, no online lottery licences are issued to other gambling operators. Still, residents of French Guiana are free to participate in international lottery draws available to them.


Bitcoin gambling in French Guiana


Bitcoin gambling in French Guiana: illegal, players are not prosecuted


Bitcoin and Bitcoin gambling are not specifically regulated in France or the overseas departments. However, it is illegal for unlicensed gambling companies to offer their services within the country, and there are no licensed Bitcoin casinos in France or French Guiana. Furthermore, online casino gambling is banned because of its addictive nature, making it illegal to operate Bitcoin casinos in French Guiana. However, there are no laws against locals playing in international Bitcoin casinos.



Online gambling websites accepting players from French Guiana



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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.


Last updated: 2015. 12. 28.


Simon's Guide to Gambling and Casinos in French Guiana
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling and Casinos in French Guiana
This online gambling guide focuses on the legal status of casinos, gambling, sports betting, lottery, bingo, poker and Bitcoin gambling in French Guiana.

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