This is a picture of the exterior of Casino Le Lyon Vert, one of the French casinos. Under the picture you can read about gambling legislation, taxation of winnings and age requirement and you can find a list of, online gambling websites, which accept players from France. The detailed guide on this webpage contains info about the legal status of all the main forms of games of chance including internet poker, digital sports betting, internet lottery, electronic bingo and bitcoin wagering.
France Online Gambling Guide
Summary: Gambling is legal in France since 1907 (officially the French Republic, a rich Western European country with a population of 67.39 million, a founding member of the EU).

Online gambling is also legal since 2009 in the French Republic.

You can find a list of online gambling websites, which accept players from France by scrolling below, or click here to jump to that list:

History of Gambling in France - click to expand

Most of the main forms of gambling are legal in France, and gambling has quite the history in the country. The Francophone gambling sector has contributed to the creation of several forms of games of chance, many of them have French names to this day, e.g.:

  • the roulette wheel was invented by the French mathematician Blaise Pascal (roulette itself is a French word meaning ‘little wheel’)
  • the original version of baccarat, chemin de fer (means railroad) also originates from the country as well
  • parimutuel betting (mutual betting), as the name suggests, also has French origins
  • and most of the words associated with betting and casinos come from the French language (e.g.: croupier, many forms of roulette bets)
  • but the biggest contribution is probably the standard 52-card deck, which was also created in France, with the Queen replacing the Nobleman in the 1500s.

 

16th century – The first written record of legal gambling in France is from 1539. Francis I. allowed the operation of the lottery “blanque” for a large fixed annual fee to be paid to the Treasury (similar to gambling licenses today, other forms of gambling were illegal officially, but underground gambling was widespread). These lottery like games were then banned, and reinstated (sometimes in rapid succession) in the subsequent centuries centuries depending on the attitude of the ruler at the time.

17th century – The first royal lottery was finally held as part of Louis XIV’s wedding celebrations (the infamous Le Roi-Soleil [Sun King] from whom the expression “L’État, c’est moi” [I am the State] comes from).

18th century – The church gets on board too. In the end of the 17th century the hospital Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon was rebuilt. Funds for the construction were collected via a lottery. This has inspired various prominent figures in the hierarchy of the Church to change their stance on gambling (e.g.: Father Ménestrier). The idea of regulating gambling instead of banning was born.

1757 – The first number lottery was born. Interestingly, the famous Casanova, was one of the original organizers.

19th century – By the decree of 24 June 1806, Napoleon introduced a ban on gambling houses. However, article 4 of the decree authorized the minister of police to make an exception for Paris, and for spa towns during the high season. this has lead to the first official gambling houses and casinos in France (before this only the nobility and the privileged could play casino and card games in private residences, and in private members’ only establishment which were above the law, e.g.: Club des Arcades).

20th century – Year-round gambling in the casinos of spa or seaside resort towns was permitted by the Act of June 15, 1907. This was the first time permanent casinos were legalized in France. This marked a new chapter in the history of gambling in the country

/Comment: And this is what I consider to be the official start of gambling in France , that’s why I choose this date among the many you have seen here./

1923 – Private gambling clubs were legalized too (this is where modern day Paris got the idea, see below).

1933 – the National Lottery was reestablished, and it was replaced by Loto in 1976.

1985 – Gambling laws were modernized and revamped. The start of modern gambling and casinos in France. Additional types of games of chance were legalized.

21th century – Online gambling was partially legalized in 2009, and in 2010 internet gambling was fully legalized.

The main piece of gambling legislation is the Article L.320-1 of the French Code of Homeland Security (Chapitre préliminaire : Dispositions communes  – Articles L320-1 à L320-18)1.

The french gambling legislation is set up in an unusual way. All forms of gambling are illegal by default. And only exceptions are granted (strict, narrow scope). This is a very restricted system with no room for innovation.

Therefore, technically, the official legal status of gambling is that it is illegal. But this just confuses ordinary players, and all the main forms of gambling have been granted exceptions, and have been legalized (see below, for a detailed breakdown of the legal status all the main forms of gambling, betting, wagering in France, online and offline).

This quirk of the French gambling legislation doesn’t effect ordinary players at all.

Operating any sort of brick and mortar gambling establishment in France requires a licence. 

Online gambling is legal in France since 2009 (due to pressure from the EU)2. However, most forms of online gambling were only made legal a year after, in 2010, according to Law 2010-476 2010 (Loi no. 2010-476 du 12 mai 2010 relative à l’ouverture à la concurrence et à la régulation du secteur des jeux d’argent et de hasard en ligne)3.

Despite this, online casino operators can not receive a licence in the country; online casino gambling remains illegal. But offshore online casinos licensed and operating outside of France’s, and the EU’s jurisdiction are still accepting players.

/Comment: The laws of France do not apply to these companies, which are registered and licensed outside of the country (this is called ‘jurisdiction’)./

French gambling laws also apply in the overseas regions of the country: Mayotte, Réunion, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique.

 

France and EU gambling laws: Because France is an EU country Article 56 TFEU4 and Article 8 of Directive 98/34/EC (EU gambling directives) apply. These state that other EU online gambling companies should be provided access to the French market, and a way to obtain local online casino licenses. However, no local gambling licenses are issued, and according to some interpretations of EU laws foreign online gambling websites can not be blocked or prosecuted in this case (because they can not get a licence).

Opinions are divided on this issue, and there is a lot of litigation behind the scenes, between the companies and the government.

/Comment: Many European countries are in  a similar situation. The verdicts of the EU top court are very diverse and context dependent. E.g.: Germany was in a similar situation. It did not issue online casino licenses prior to 2021, and the EU top court ruled that Germany can not block or prosecute unlicensed operators (or their German players) because they didn’t provide them with a way to obtain local online casino licenses./ 

Asa result players can freely visit offshore online gambling websites (see below), and they are not prosecuted for it (nobody was ever fined or prosecuted for playing on these websites, this is true for all EU countries, this is due to various EU laws protecting players and citizens in addition to Article 56).

However, despite the EU laws discussed above, the French government does block the biggest of these unlicensed sites, according to the Decree 2011-2122 of 30 December 20115 (in an attempt to prevent local players from choosing something other than the state owned monopoly Française des Jeux). Many of the blocked websites have taken action, and there were many lawsuits (some ongoing) because of this.

This is far from a settled issue, but for now no online casino licenses are issued.

/UPDATE 2021: Germany, who was in a similar situation, started issuing online casino licenses in 2021, exactly because of similar issues with the EU. It seems like the EU’s firm stance on market liberalization remains unchanged. This is indicative that eventually France will also open up its online casino sector./

Gambling taxes and licensing fees on top of the high corporate tax rate make it difficult for online gambling operators to turn a profit in France, some have tried, most have failed. Despite being home to 67 million relatively wealthy citizens, there are very few private French online gambling companies. And the French online gambling market is dominated by Française des Jeux.

Land-based gambling establishments have it a bit better, due to the really high number of tourists (an unbelievable 200 million per year, making it the most visited country in the world, of course, these are pre-coronavirus figures).

Despite this, the country only has about 200 gambling establishments (only about a 150 of them are proper casinos, rest are electronic casinos, slot parlours, gaming clubs).

Casinos can only be opened in sea, thermal and climatic resorts, as well as in cities classified as tourist resorts (except Paris, which outlawed casinos in 1920, but in 2018 allowed so called “gaming clubs”, clubs de jeux.

French gambling laws apply to the French territories as well: French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories (no permanent population), Martinique, Mayotte, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

You can find a list of online gambling websites, which accept players from France below.

 

Betting on blood sports in France

All forms of blood sports are considered animal cruelty, and are illegal in France. Betting on blood sports is also illegal.

 

FUN FACT: Johnny Depp, the multi millionaire actor, has his own €5 million ‘gaming club’ in Paris, the Paris Elysées Club6 (info about the other gaming clubs in France can be found here).

If you are interested, you can take a look inside Johnny Depp’s casino by watching the video below (it’s a “private casino experience” for rich people only, and it is priced accordingly):

 

 

Can tourists play online while visiting France?

Yes, tourists, expats (or illegal migrants) can play online freely while enjoying their stay in the country.

 

Gambling licensing France

Gambling in France is not supervised by a single entity, but by several. Betting activities have traditionally been divided between the Pari Mutuel Hippodrome (PMH) and the Pari Mutuel Urbaine (PMU). The country’s national lottery, as well as some lottery-style games such as bingo, are in the hands of Francaise des Jeux (FDJ).

Online gambling is regulated by the Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) UPDATE: L’Autorité nationale des Jeux – ANJ replaces ARJEL as the regulatory authority of most forms of online gambling from 2020.

You have to contact them if you want to set up any sort of gambling establishment, or get a French online gambling license.

Online gambling has been legal and regulated in France. Three forms of digital gambling are currently permitted to be conducted by licensed private companies:

 

UPDATE: The licensing process, fees, procedures were overhauled entirely in 2019, during  the implementation of PACTE Act. The whole process is now more business friendly, fees are lower, and it is streamlined, the document, which lists all the changes, is attached below7.

 

Free advertisement for licensed local lawyers, law firms from this country

Get featured on this website, here, just right under the taxation section. Advertise your services, get a link to your own website, or the law firm's website you work for, on a page that is visited by businessmen, company representatives looking for help with: setting up a gambling business, licensing, setting up a company, help with an existing gambling business, consulting etc....
And all this for free. Click on the drop down section if you are interested and want to get listed.

How to get featured

In order to get the free placement you must have a website (social media profile is not enough). Here is what you have to do:
  • send me a link to your website, or your employer's website
  • send me 1-2 sentences about you and/or your business etc.., something that describes the business, what you do, something that makes potential clients interested
  • send me one single picture of your company's logo, or a picture of your office, or one of your certificates, credentials which you are proud of etc... (but don't send a picture of yourself, for legal reasons I want to avoid uploading pictures of people)

The picture must be 150x150 pixels.
Contact me through the live chat, it's in the bottom right corner of the website, or in the comments section at the bottom of this page, with a link to the website you wish to advertise. If you qualify, I will give you my email address where we can discuss everything (I won't be putting my email address on the page, due to the extreme amount of spam I receive as it is).
In exchange: In order to appear for free on this website, you have to link back to this guide, from your website. It must be your website, your employer's website, a law blog or something similar. The link doesn't have to be in a prominent position, or on the homepage. It can be placed at the bottom of an unimportant page, where people don't see it, that's fine with me. And 1 sentence is enough, something like this: "We are featured on Simon's Gambling and Casino Blog, at <link here>."
That's all, if you are interested, get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Gambling tax France

In France gambling taxes are extremely high. These high taxes keep the number of gambling establishment down, and it forces several operators out of the market (but new ones take their place, and the number of licensed casinos venues stagnate at around 200, since 20138. It’s a progressive tax system*.

*progressive tax definition: the tax rate increases, depending on the revenue of the establishment, there is no flat tax rate

Gambling tax in France (tax base is gross gaming revenue, from 2020 onwards, annual):

 

Gaming clubs (special type of casino, VIP, entrance fee, dress code):

 

Casinos pay 28% first + the following progressive tax on the remainder, based on annual gross gaming revenue:

 

If this wasn’t enough, a 11.2% tax is paid on the 68% of the gross gambling revenue from slot machines.

In addition, every gambling establishments has to pay a 13.7% withholding tax on any winnings by players, equal to or exceeding EUR 1,500 (this is because gambling winnings over €1500 are taxable in France and players never paid any tax on them, so now the casinos have to).

As you can see, it’s incredibly high, the highest gambling tax rate in all of Europe, and the world. No wonder that despite the size, affluence, and the number of tourists visiting the country it has relatively few casinos.

Keep in mind, that this gambling tax is paid on top of regular taxes (e.g.: corporate tax, which can be as high as 31%).

 

For players, taxation of gambling winnings in France: not taxed

Gambling winnings over €1500 are taxable, at a rate of 12%. However, the licensed domestic gambling  companies are required to pay the taxes on your winnings, not you. Therefore, as long as you play in any of the licensed establishments, you don’t have to pay any taxes.

However, if you play abroad, or online, and if you win over €1500, you would have to pay taxes on it.

/Comment: However, in reality this is rarely enforced. But if you win a really big amount, e.g.: €100 000+ I would certainly suggest to consult an account (a licensed CPA). Of course, I advise paying taxes on your winnings all the time, not paying taxes is illegal, but realistically, it’s not really enforced when it comes to smaller amounts./

 

Free advertisement for local accountants, CPAs and accounting firms from this country

Get featured on this website, here, just right under the taxation section. Advertise your services, get a link to your own website, or the accounting firm's website you work for, on a page that is visited by gamblers looking for help with their gambling winnings, and gambling companies looking for consultants and help with their projects.
And all this for free. Click on the drop down section if you are interested and want to get listed.

How to get featured

In order to get the free advertisement you must have a website (social media profile is not enough). Here is what you have to do:
  • send me a link to your website, or your employer's website
  • send me 1-2 sentences about you and/or your business etc.., something that describes the business, what you do, something that makes potential clients interested
  • send me one single picture of your company's logo, or a picture of your office, or one of your certificates, credentials which you are proud of etc... (but don't send a picture of yourself, for legal reasons I want to avoid uploading pictures of people)

The picture must be 150x150 pixels.
Contact me through the live chat, it's in the bottom right corner of the website, or in the comments section at the bottom of this page, with a link to the website you wish to advertise. If you qualify, I will give you my email address where we can discuss everything (I won't be putting my email address on the page, due to the extreme amount of spam I receive as it is).
In exchange: In order to appear for free on this website, you have to link back to this guide, from your website. It must be your website, your employer's website, a law blog or something similar. The link doesn't have to be in a prominent position, or on the homepage. It can be placed at the bottom of an unimportant page, where people don't see it, that's fine with me. And 1 sentence is enough, something like this: "We are featured on Simon's Gambling and Casino Blog, at <link here>."
That's all, if you are interested, get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Legal gambling age in France: 18+ (was lowered from 21+ in 1987)

 

Other:

Loot boxes, skin gambling, fantasy sports betting and social gambling are not regulated in France.

 

Sources, and main pieces of the French gambling legislation:

1Legifrance – L.320-1 of the French Code of Homeland Security (Chapitre préliminaire : Dispositions communes  – Articles L320-1 à L320-18)

2European Commission – On-line gambling: Commission welcomes France’s decision to open its gambling market and closes infringement procedure

32010-476 du 12 mai 2010 relative à l’ouverture à la concurrence et à la régulation du secteur des jeux d’argent et de hasard en ligne

4JSTOR – Freedom to provide services — Article 56 TFEU — Games of chance

5EURLex – Decree 2011-2122 of 30 December 2011

6Thelocal.fr – The Paris opens doors to first ever ‘gaming club’

7Whitecase – PACTE Act (action plan for the growth and transformation of companies)

8Statista – Number of casinos in France 2013 – 2017

List of online gambling sites, which accept players from France and the French territories

The following online gambling websites accept players from France. They all accept players from the country, and are accessible from within the country, at the time of writing. If they no longer accept players from France, or if they are blocked for some reason, please leave a message in the comments section, so I can investigate it.

 

RichPrize Casino + Sportsbook

This is RichPrize Casino's animated GIF banner advertising their new exclusive games released in 2022 and their free spins and casino bonuses. You can read about these promotional offers below the animated banner. By clicking on the banner, which acts as a link, you will be taken to the casino's website where you can register an account (if you are 18+) and you can play. You can read the detailed terms and conditions, list of restricted countries and wagering, playthrough requirements, limitations of the promotional offers below the banner.
RichPrize Casino & Sportsbook, offer for returning players, 18+
USA and Canada players are accepted. However, US players can only deposit and withdraw money using cryptocurrencies! (this restriction only applies to US players, and only in this casino)
  • 100% match bonus, up to €1000 + 25 free spins, no code needed
  Bonus for returning players:
  • Returning players usually get 15% cashback, one of the highest regular cashbacks online. Even if you end up losing you will get about 15% of your money back (returning players only).
  • UPDATE 2022: Special up to 25% cashback, every Friday, for returning players, requirements:
    • confirm email address
    • confirm phone number
    • deposit money that week
    • up to 10 EUR deposited that week  - 5% cashback
    • between 10 EUR to 20 EUR deposited that week - 10% cashback
    • between 20 EUR to 50 EUR deposited that week - 15% cashback
    • between 50 EUR to 100 EUR deposited that week - 20% cashback
    • more than € 100 deposited that week - 25% cashback
 
You can read the review of RichPrize casino here. List of restricted countries can be found in the review and below.

Playthrough requirements, wagering limitations and list of restricted countries

All bonuses, free spins, and other promotional offer are subject to the following wagering limitations and playthrough requirements. Although, we strive to update this  section often, it's best if you check the company's website for the latest and up to date bonus terms and conditions (they change it quite often, with every new bonus, it's possible we have missed something, or it's no longer up to date).
Playthrough requirement for every bonus and promotion:
  • confirm email
  • confirm phone number
  • complete registration
  • activate bonus in 24 hours
  • you have 7 days to wager the bonus
  Usually you also have to make a deposit of at least 20 EUR or equivalent, and you can't combine bonuses, but there are exceptions to this (e.g: occasional no deposit bonuses, and cashbacks seem to be combinable with existing bonuses, at least at the time of writing).   General bonus and promotional money wagering requirement:
  • Bonuses must be wagered x40 usually
  • Free spins must be wagered x40 usually
  Check the casino's web page for the specific, up to date, current playthrough requirements and wagering limitations, does not apply to cashbacks for returning players, which have different (significantly better) paythrough requirements.
Wagering limitation:
  • 7 days to wager bonus.
  • Min bet 0.01 EUR - Max bet 3 EUR.
  • maximum amount you can withdraw while you are using a bonus 500% of your deposit
  • limited to enabled games only (you can oly play with these enabled games, while using a bonus, for legal reasons not all game providers opted in into the bonus system)
  • maximum bonus amount € 1000
  • minimum amount you can withdraw is € 20
  The following table show the contribution of the various types of games towards the fulfillment of the wagering requirement:
Game types: Contribution:
Slots 100%
Betting 0%
Table games 0%
Live games 0%
  Player can cancel bonus at any time. Upon cancellation of the bonus the balance will be adjusted to the balance before bonus activation. UPDATE COVID-19: The online casino does not use the global pandemic situation for advertisement purposes, or to encourage the usage of its online gambling platform. In fact, it's forbidden to use the namesake, name, likeness and official logo or any depiction of the casino/company (and this casino gambling blog) in conjunction with any marketing campaign, which uses the novel coronavirus pandemic to advertise. If you see such a violation and unauthorized use, please leave a comment on any of the pages or contact us through the live chat. Thank you.
RichPrize Casino does not accept players from:  

 

Summary:

 

Casino gambling in France

Casinos in France: legal, operators require a licence

Online casino gambling in France: officially illegal, but players can play online freely and are not prosecuted due to EU laws Article 56 TFEU and Article 8 of Directive 98/34/EC

 

Casino gambling is legal and quite popular in France. There are 200 licensed casinos, although most of these gambling establishments are just slot halls or electronic casinos, there are not that many bigger casinos in France due to the high taxes (mentioned above in the gambling taxation section).

You can find a list of the French casinos here (with info and a video of the top 10 biggest and best rated casino venues).

However, online casino gambling is still prohibited, and no online gambling licences are issued to the domestic casino operators.

The reason for this is that online casino games are thought to be more addictive than other forms of gambling, especially slot machines. And the government feels the need to protect the citizens from this.

/Comment: This is quite a weird reasoning, because despite this, land based casinos are allowed to have slots. Doesn’t the government has to protect the citizens from the slot machines in brick & mortar casinos as well? Obviously this is not the real reason, this is just political posturing./

Because there are no local, licensed alternatives, players from France can only turn to foreign online casinos.

Locals playing in international online casinos are not prosecuted. EU gambling laws dictate, that according to Freedom to provide services — Article 56 TFEU: if a country does not provide any means for foreign online casinos to acquire local licenses, then they can not punish or block these gambling websites or players who visit them.

Despite this very few online casinos still accept players from France (you can see these below).

UDPATE 2021: Some additional clarification about EU legislation regarding online casinos. I came across a court case while researching the German online casino gambling sector, this summarizes the stance of the EU top court perfectly.

According to the official ruling (C‑336/14*), licensed online casinos operating in any EU country, can accept players from any other EU country as well, even if they don’t have a local license in those countries.

UPDATE COVID-19: The coronavirus pandemic compounded the problems of the French gambling sector. Especially, considering the French casino sector’s historic reliance on tourists. Unsurprisingly, it has resulted in a number of closures. Although, none of the bigger casinos have closed at the time of writing.

Sources:

*An example court case, Germany versus unlicensed operator, – based on Article 56 TFEU and Article 8 of Directive 98/34/EC

Online casinos accepting players from France - click to see

The following online casino websites accept players from France:

 

RichPrize Casino + Sportsbook

This is RichPrize Casino's animated GIF banner advertising their new exclusive games released in 2022 and their free spins and casino bonuses. You can read about these promotional offers below the animated banner. By clicking on the banner, which acts as a link, you will be taken to the casino's website where you can register an account (if you are 18+) and you can play. You can read the detailed terms and conditions, list of restricted countries and wagering, playthrough requirements, limitations of the promotional offers below the banner.
RichPrize Casino & Sportsbook, offer for returning players, 18+
USA and Canada players are accepted. However, US players can only deposit and withdraw money using cryptocurrencies! (this restriction only applies to US players, and only in this casino)
  • 100% match bonus, up to €1000 + 25 free spins, no code needed
  Bonus for returning players:
  • Returning players usually get 15% cashback, one of the highest regular cashbacks online. Even if you end up losing you will get about 15% of your money back (returning players only).
  • UPDATE 2022: Special up to 25% cashback, every Friday, for returning players, requirements:
    • confirm email address
    • confirm phone number
    • deposit money that week
    • up to 10 EUR deposited that week  - 5% cashback
    • between 10 EUR to 20 EUR deposited that week - 10% cashback
    • between 20 EUR to 50 EUR deposited that week - 15% cashback
    • between 50 EUR to 100 EUR deposited that week - 20% cashback
    • more than € 100 deposited that week - 25% cashback
 
You can read the review of RichPrize casino here. List of restricted countries can be found in the review and below.

Playthrough requirements, wagering limitations and list of restricted countries

All bonuses, free spins, and other promotional offer are subject to the following wagering limitations and playthrough requirements. Although, we strive to update this  section often, it's best if you check the company's website for the latest and up to date bonus terms and conditions (they change it quite often, with every new bonus, it's possible we have missed something, or it's no longer up to date).
Playthrough requirement for every bonus and promotion:
  • confirm email
  • confirm phone number
  • complete registration
  • activate bonus in 24 hours
  • you have 7 days to wager the bonus
  Usually you also have to make a deposit of at least 20 EUR or equivalent, and you can't combine bonuses, but there are exceptions to this (e.g: occasional no deposit bonuses, and cashbacks seem to be combinable with existing bonuses, at least at the time of writing).   General bonus and promotional money wagering requirement:
  • Bonuses must be wagered x40 usually
  • Free spins must be wagered x40 usually
  Check the casino's web page for the specific, up to date, current playthrough requirements and wagering limitations, does not apply to cashbacks for returning players, which have different (significantly better) paythrough requirements.
Wagering limitation:
  • 7 days to wager bonus.
  • Min bet 0.01 EUR - Max bet 3 EUR.
  • maximum amount you can withdraw while you are using a bonus 500% of your deposit
  • limited to enabled games only (you can oly play with these enabled games, while using a bonus, for legal reasons not all game providers opted in into the bonus system)
  • maximum bonus amount € 1000
  • minimum amount you can withdraw is € 20
  The following table show the contribution of the various types of games towards the fulfillment of the wagering requirement:
Game types: Contribution:
Slots 100%
Betting 0%
Table games 0%
Live games 0%
  Player can cancel bonus at any time. Upon cancellation of the bonus the balance will be adjusted to the balance before bonus activation. UPDATE COVID-19: The online casino does not use the global pandemic situation for advertisement purposes, or to encourage the usage of its online gambling platform. In fact, it's forbidden to use the namesake, name, likeness and official logo or any depiction of the casino/company (and this casino gambling blog) in conjunction with any marketing campaign, which uses the novel coronavirus pandemic to advertise. If you see such a violation and unauthorized use, please leave a comment on any of the pages or contact us through the live chat. Thank you.
RichPrize Casino does not accept players from:  

 

Click here for more info on casinos in France.

 

Bingo in France

Bingo halls in France: legal, operators require a licence

Online bingo in France: legal, state monopoly of FDJ (Française des Jeux)

 

Bingo has been a popular game in France for several centuries. There are several bingo halls to be found within the country, often incorporated into bars and pool halls (even in Paris, where casinos were banned). The French version of bingo is somewhat different from the game known in the US, with the cards being rectangular instead of a square.

Still, the basics of the game are the same.

Bingo is considered a casino game but it is in a special category, and even minors are allowed to play traditional bingo (poules au gibier) in fairgrounds, schools, or organized by non-profit companies (but bingo establishments don’t allow anyone under 18 to enter, if they serve alcohol).

However, online bingo websites can not get a licence. It is the monopoly of the French lottery FDJ, which has an online bingo platform.

There are 12 types of bingo games available on the website of FDJ under the brand name liveBINGO.

Locals may also play on international online bingo sites due to the EU laws we discussed above. Although most offshore bingo sites are blocked in the country, and they rarely accept players from France to begin with.

The following bingo websites accept players from France.

Online casinos which have online bingo sections and accept players from France - click to see

The following online gambling websites have live bingo and accept players from France:

I couldn’t find any that would accept player from France right now. I can only recommend Francaise des Jeux liveBINGO right now.

/Comment: Despite the name it’s actually not live bingo, it’s digital bingo, a so called ‘instant game’, which is a lottery type game, not real bingo. Tt’s false advertising, misleading./

 

Poker in France

Poker halls in Finland: legal, operators require a poker club licence

Online poker in France: legal, operators require an online poker licence

 

Poker is the most popular card game in France. Live poker games, cash games and tournaments take place in most of the bigger brick and mortar casinos, and there are also standalone poker clubs and VIP poker rooms.

/Comment: Poker clubs are usually called ‘gaming clubs’ in France, and they have dress codes and entrance fees, usually very posh places, some are member’s only, reserved for the upper class./

One of the most prestigious poker tournaments in the country, the French Open takes place regularly at the Casino Barrière.

Poker clubs are not considered casinos. There is a separate licence for poker clubs, casino licence is not needed.

Online poker has been legal in France since 2010. Though IRL poker is generally played in casinos, it is  considered a game of skill and luck, exempting it from the ban on online casino games. There are currently 15 gambling operators licensed to provide online poker services within the country. UPDATE: Only 12 now, many went out of business because of the crushing taxation.

Despite the game’s popularity, the French online poker market has been struggling since its inception. The main reason for this are the high taxes and that the market is “fenced off” from the online poker players of other countries, thereby dramatically reducing the player base.*

This means that poker players from France can not play against payers from other countries if they play on a licensed, domestic French poker site. This is why to his day most French poker players prefer the bigger international poker websites, even though it’s technically illegal to play on them (players are not prosecuted).  Very few of the big international poker sites accept players from France, because the French government keeps suing them (it’s illegal for unlicensed companies to accept French players after all, even if the players can freely access them).

When it comes to poker there also some limitations:

Types of poker that can be played according to the gambling legislation
In French land-based casinos:
  • Casino Hold’em poker
  • Casino stud poker
  • Texas hold’em poker
  • Omaha poker 4 high
  • Ultimate poker
  • Three card poker
On French online poker platforms:
  • Texas Hold’em limit.
  • Texas Hold’em pot limit.
  • Texas Hold’em no limit.
  • Omaha 4 high pot limit.
  • Omaha 4 High/Low limit.
  • Omaha 4 High/Low pot limit.
  • Omaha Poker 5 High pot limit
  • Seven Card Stud Poker High limit
  • Seven Card Stud Poker High/Low limit
  • Seven Card Stud Poker Razz (or Low) limit
  • Triple draw deuce to seven (2-7) Lowball (or Low) limit

 

The online poker sites below accept players from France.

*Source: Report: More Declines for the French Online Poker Industry During Q3 2015 (pokernews)

Online poker sites which accept players from France - click to see

The following online casinos have a poker section and accept players from France:

Currently, none of the poker websites that I use (I use Betonline’s and Betsson’s poker section) accept French players so I can’t recommend any.

I don’t know of any that would accept French players, because of the way how online poker works (there only a few poker networks, they accept the players, they dictate who can play or not, not the online casinos, they only host the network, and right now none of the bigger ones accept French players).

I don’t use any of the French poker sites, and I don’t intend to as long as they don’t allow international player pooling. I also don’t recommend them for this reason (also, because of the high taxes they have really bad bonuses, if any, rakes are really high, limited types of games, it’s just bad, they don’t have good reviews).

 

Sports betting in France

Bookmakers, betting shops in France: legal, operators require a licence

Online sports betting in France: legal, operators require a licence

 

Sports betting is legal in France, and it has quite the tradition, especially horse racing betting (the oldest form of officially legal form of sports betting in the country).

Parimutuel betting, where the bets are pooled and then divided among the winners in accordance with the calculated odds, actually originates in France. To date the largest sports betting company in France is the state owned PMU, which traditionally offered only horse racing betting, but has since branched out into other sports as well, and it now France’s biggest bookmaker.

Online sports betting is among the gambling activities that were legalised in 2010. Both PMU and FDJ offer online betting on various other sports events. The most popular sport to bet on is, as in most of Europe, football. Online sports betting is not a monopoly in France, other companies may apply for and receive online sports betting licences as well (but PMU and FDJ dominate the French sports betting market).

The online sportsbooks below accept registrations from France.

Online bookmakers accepting punters from France - click to see

The following online sportsbooks accept bettors from France:

I can not recommend any online bookmaker, which accepts registrations from France. None of the online sports books I know and use accept players from France at the moment, and I don’t want to recommend something I never used myself. If you know of any, please post a link to it in the comments section.

 

Lottery in France

Lottery in France: legal, state monopoly

Online lottery in France: legal, state monopoly

 

Lottery is legal in France, and it is the monopoly of FDJ (Française des Jeux), the French national lottery. The French lottery offers various lottery draws and lottery style games such as scratchcards and bingo.

/Comment: FDJ was the co-founder of the European pooled lottery EuroMillions, along with the Spanish Loterías y Apuestas del Estado and UK’s Camelot, the three biggest lottery companies in Europe./

Online lottery is also legal in France and it is also in the hands of FDJ. All of FDJ’s games are available online, including the several types of scratchcards, bingo, instant games, keno and sports betting.

There are also no laws against locals buying lottery tickets in person in foreign countries while on a vacation, or online from so called “lottery purchasing services” (lottery purchasing services are businesses, which purchase physical lottery tickets for you in a foreign country if you make a purchase on their website, you can see an example of such a website below).

The following websites let people from France purchase lottery tickets online.

Online lottery platforms, which accept players from France - click to see

The following internet lottery sites accept players from France:

 

Bitcoin wagering in France

Cryptocurrency gambling in France: illegal, players are not prosecuted

 

Bitcoin is legal in France. France’s Financial Markets Authority, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) accepted the Pacte Bill in 2019 making it possible to create a bitcoin trading and exchange company in France.*

However, bitcoin gambling is illegal**. According to the National Gaming Authority (ANJ):

“The use of cryptocurrencies is forbidden on the websites of authorized operators who are obligated to combat fraud, money laundering, and terrorism financing”

Many of the big bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum casinos are blocked in France. However, players who place bets on offshore platforms are not prosecuted, only the companies operating these websites are targeted.

Despite the ban, the following bitcoin casinos below accept players from France.

**Source: TheCoinrepublic – Cryptocurrency Gambling is Prohibited by a French Regulator
Online bitcoin casinos accepting players from France - click to see

The following online casino websites accept bitcoin and players from France:

 

RichPrize Casino + Sportsbook

This is RichPrize Casino's animated GIF banner advertising their new exclusive games released in 2022 and their free spins and casino bonuses. You can read about these promotional offers below the animated banner. By clicking on the banner, which acts as a link, you will be taken to the casino's website where you can register an account (if you are 18+) and you can play. You can read the detailed terms and conditions, list of restricted countries and wagering, playthrough requirements, limitations of the promotional offers below the banner.
RichPrize Casino & Sportsbook, offer for returning players, 18+
USA and Canada players are accepted. However, US players can only deposit and withdraw money using cryptocurrencies! (this restriction only applies to US players, and only in this casino)
  • 100% match bonus, up to €1000 + 25 free spins, no code needed
  Bonus for returning players:
  • Returning players usually get 15% cashback, one of the highest regular cashbacks online. Even if you end up losing you will get about 15% of your money back (returning players only).
  • UPDATE 2022: Special up to 25% cashback, every Friday, for returning players, requirements:
    • confirm email address
    • confirm phone number
    • deposit money that week
    • up to 10 EUR deposited that week  - 5% cashback
    • between 10 EUR to 20 EUR deposited that week - 10% cashback
    • between 20 EUR to 50 EUR deposited that week - 15% cashback
    • between 50 EUR to 100 EUR deposited that week - 20% cashback
    • more than € 100 deposited that week - 25% cashback
 
You can read the review of RichPrize casino here. List of restricted countries can be found in the review and below.

Playthrough requirements, wagering limitations and list of restricted countries

All bonuses, free spins, and other promotional offer are subject to the following wagering limitations and playthrough requirements. Although, we strive to update this  section often, it's best if you check the company's website for the latest and up to date bonus terms and conditions (they change it quite often, with every new bonus, it's possible we have missed something, or it's no longer up to date).
Playthrough requirement for every bonus and promotion:
  • confirm email
  • confirm phone number
  • complete registration
  • activate bonus in 24 hours
  • you have 7 days to wager the bonus
  Usually you also have to make a deposit of at least 20 EUR or equivalent, and you can't combine bonuses, but there are exceptions to this (e.g: occasional no deposit bonuses, and cashbacks seem to be combinable with existing bonuses, at least at the time of writing).   General bonus and promotional money wagering requirement:
  • Bonuses must be wagered x40 usually
  • Free spins must be wagered x40 usually
  Check the casino's web page for the specific, up to date, current playthrough requirements and wagering limitations, does not apply to cashbacks for returning players, which have different (significantly better) paythrough requirements.
Wagering limitation:
  • 7 days to wager bonus.
  • Min bet 0.01 EUR - Max bet 3 EUR.
  • maximum amount you can withdraw while you are using a bonus 500% of your deposit
  • limited to enabled games only (you can oly play with these enabled games, while using a bonus, for legal reasons not all game providers opted in into the bonus system)
  • maximum bonus amount € 1000
  • minimum amount you can withdraw is € 20
  The following table show the contribution of the various types of games towards the fulfillment of the wagering requirement:
Game types: Contribution:
Slots 100%
Betting 0%
Table games 0%
Live games 0%
  Player can cancel bonus at any time. Upon cancellation of the bonus the balance will be adjusted to the balance before bonus activation. UPDATE COVID-19: The online casino does not use the global pandemic situation for advertisement purposes, or to encourage the usage of its online gambling platform. In fact, it's forbidden to use the namesake, name, likeness and official logo or any depiction of the casino/company (and this casino gambling blog) in conjunction with any marketing campaign, which uses the novel coronavirus pandemic to advertise. If you see such a violation and unauthorized use, please leave a comment on any of the pages or contact us through the live chat. Thank you.
RichPrize Casino does not accept players from:  

 

 

If you have questions or any feedback don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Please let me know in the comments section if you think we might have gotten something wrong or if you have additional information, clarification about the legal status of online gambling in this country, especially if you are from France or nearby.

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: 2021-11-29

Gamble responsibly,
SimonTheSorcerer

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Summary
Simon's Guide to France Online Gambling Sites
Article Name
Simon's Guide to France Online Gambling Sites
Description
This gambling guide focuses on the legal status of internet casinos, digital sports betting, electronic lottery, bingo, poker and bitcoin gambling in France and its overseas territories., and a list of French online gambling platforms is included as well.
Author
Simon's Online Casino Gambling Blog
Tagged

3 Responses

  1. We are a registered charity in France We would like to know if we can organise a Bingo or Horse race night
    for cash prizes, do we have to have a gaming licence?

  2. Hi, just wondering if i can get advice and this is my complaint forwarded to Karamba
    Hi,

    I have just done a bit of search online regarding the error i have been having and found out that online gambling like karamba is illegal over here in France that is prohibited to play in the country but somehow you have allowed me to log in to my account make deposits and play. I have deposited thousands already when it should have been blocked in the first place, no wonder why i never win any jackpots as my odds are non-existent. Its not just about losing to me now its the principle because i have been playing for nothing and that is why i keep having errors but no one inform me regarding this even before. There should have been a block to access my account right from the start when i log in to the account. So I believe i have every right to make a complaint about this. Can you tell me the legal procedures on this as i do not think is fair at all to mislead me in playing but i shouldn’t have been allowed access at all.
    And this os their response wonder if i just leave it at that or i have any grounds to take this further…

    “Thank you for your earlier correspondence today regarding your Karamba Account.

    As mentioned, I escalated your case to our head of Compliance, and she confirmed that as your account was fully verified and registered under the UK Gambling Commission Regulation, you are perfectly at liberty to play remotely in any country in the world including France.

    The country of registration takes precedent over any other jurisdiction you may be remotely playing in.

    Of course Farida should you prefer to close your account, that is completely your choice and of course we would respect any decision you take.

    Kind Regards,”

    1. Sorry for the late reply, spam filter put this in the spam folder. I know nothing about this website Karamba. I can not give you any advice. I only know the casinos advertising on the website, I can only help you with those.

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