Gambling in France

The homeland of the exciting pastime differs by the high taxes on gambling. However, almost all forms of gambling in France are legalized. This applies to land-based casinos. Online, you can only play poker as well as support the stakes on horse races and sports competitions.

As regards gaming machines, the official French licensees are not allowed to hold them on their websites. Therefore, can only be used the video slots that do not require payment of real money. The casino with free slot machines are publicly available but may be limited by the personal operator. This happens if the latter considers the slots as gambling entertainment and without explanation.

The online gambling is permitted since 2010 but brings more income to the state than the entrepreneurs. But the land-based casinos operate on the latest laws since 1988, and quite successfully. On their territory, are hundreds of slot machines and tables, which is due to the tendencies of the French for gambling since the late middle Ages.

Briefly about France

France (The French Republic) is the third large country of Europe and is located in its western part. The remarkable country’s slogan for the people – is “Freedom. Equality. Brotherhood”. The state has a high human development index that is used by the population of nearly 67 million people. This factor affects the great opportunities for business organizations, both small and large.

France was one of the countries founding the European Union and one of the five UN Security Council members. The Republic buys mainly oil and coal from other countries and exports products of engineering industry and food products. The maximum sales accounted for:

  • Wheat;
  • Cars;
  • Transport equipment;
  • Chemical semi manufactures;
  • Products of agriculture.

A well-known fact is the popularity of France and Paris in particular among tourists. They are the undisputed world leaders in the number of visitor foreigners. The citizens and visitors pay using the euro.

The history of gambling

A lot of gambling began its development in France. France has become a hotbed of proliferation during the reign of Louis XIII and XIV. The games went from house to house, attracting more noble families in this occupation. Most of them have kept their name and to this day.

In the same era began to emerge the first crooks and cheats. The ordinary people and the notable members of society were accused of crimes causing scandals.

The gambling with variable success was banned and legalized in France. More than 30 times was declared a ban on the open gambling houses and even more these restrictions were removed. However, this cannot be said about the slot machines, they became legal only in 1988. A year earlier, there was another remarkable event for gambling in France – the gambling age in France was reduced from 21 to 18 years.

Only in the middle of May 2010 the authorities allowed the online gambling. This was the result of the efforts of the European Commission in 2005. The company ARJEL – The French Gambling Authority was chosen to regulate the remote gambling. In addition to this company the responsibility for the internet gambling also hold the organizations The CSA and the CNIL.

The legalization of the online gambling brought good results in the summer of 2010. This was due to the Football World Cup. Then, the rates made twice much money than during the same season last year.

Law and gambling

Napoleon was the first who proposed the introduction of a license in the gambling business in France. Before him, the legislative projects of leaders of the country quickly changed depending on each preference. The enjoyable and the unloved game spread and banned accordingly. All this led, in particular to the 1789 Revolution.

Bonaparte left only nine operating gambling houses, to organize them a full and careful monitoring. However, this was only enough, during the reign of the Emperor. After his time once again more than two dozens of laws had different attitudes to gambling.

When the online casinos were under gambling restrictions in France, the law allowed building game houses only in the settlements, which were resorts. This decision was taken in 1942. It had a few nuances, one of which was a ban on the construction of the casino within a hundred kilometers from the capital. The exception is the Engen.

The Minister of Internal Affairs takes all decisions on the activities of the casinos which lead a strict policy of issuing licenses. Also, one of the principles of the Ministry of Interior is the absence of gambling in Marseille and Paris.

Until 1986, the women were not allowed to play in the casino. Today, the legislation prohibits participation in gambling:

  • Persons under 18 years of age;
  • Militaries in an appropriate form;
  • Unscrupulous people;
  • People whom the relatives complain of systematic losses;
  • Employees of the gambling house.

Legislative power at any time can expand this list.

As was mentioned, the online gambling was legalized 13 May 2010. It was preceded by several amendments in the Bill of 2009, presented by the French authorities to the EU. They were associated with the system of taxation, payments to players, and operators of gambling and the overall severity of the law.

How is regulated the gambling business?

The French government has two own organizations that control the activity of gambling. The PMU (Pari Mutuel Urbain) and La Francaise Des Jeux (FDJ). The PMU was established in 1930, while the organization FDJ much younger – was founded in 1976. Both of them are engaged in the online gambling but in the land based gambling they differ. The first is responsible for the horse racing, and the second is the operator of the national lottery and provides an opportunity to place bets on sporting events. By the way, the FDJ is the title of the sponsor of the cycling team of the same name.

The law №2010-476 on May 12, 2010, presents two articles regulating the establishment and activities of the organization ARJEL. It is an independent public authority that regulates the gambling online business.

The article 34 states the fact of creating competition in the regulating online gambling. In the next article is registered the structure of the organization. It includes:

  • Seven members of the board under the authority of the President;
  • The disciplinary committee of six people;
  • Special commissions, which are assembled from highly qualified professionals in certain situations.

The composition of the Board is renewed every six years without the possibility of extending the period.

The laws of the online gambling

Besides The French Gambling Authority, the gambling commission France CNIL and The CSA are watching for the order in the remote gambling. They are mainly engaged in the security of the personal data of players. But the regulation of online casinos occurs by the ARJEL’s solutions. This organization issues licenses to the operators that provide the right to make bets on horse racing and sporting events, as well as to play poker over the Internet. Such licenses are issued no more than for 18 years.

To the same body are given the laws on the regulation of online gambling for consideration. For example, at the beginning of its activity, ARJEL made a court order, as a result of which many French Internet service providers had to block all the sites with illegal casinos and slot machines. For the failure to comply with this rule, the operators face a fine of 10 thousand euros per day. This effect was much more efficient than writing out fines of up to 100 thousand euros for the unlicensed operators. For the official websites are not presented any claims.

Important decisions in the field of the legislation relating to the online gambling will be taken soon. They propose expanding the scope of influence of the ARJEL, enabling its Board to issue licenses to conduct “circular” poker games for the participants from different countries. This is another step towards the promotion of online poker. The first was a bill aimed providing the residents of France, the opportunity to play not only with each other and with the users and the official operators from other countries.

An important moment in the life of the French is the eSports. It is also regulated by the public authorities with the help of various laws.

The variety of online gambling

The virtual casino gambling in France is available on the same principles as the land based gambling. There is allowed betting on horse racing, sports and playing poker.

These slot machines bring the basic income of France; this is why they became legal in relatively recent time. However, this applies only to land-based casinos. Despite the fact that on the Internet is also possible to play without registration on the virtual currency on the video slots, it is not a formal permitting process. But to participate in the tournaments in Texas Hold’em and Omaha, you can absolutely easy bet on the proven racing participants and on the athletes.

Among the most popular video slots there are the notorious:

  • Book Of Ra;
  • Sizzling Hot;
  • Queen of Hearts.

Types of gambling entertainment

There are a lot of varieties of gambling in France. Despite the fact that residents of this state clearly prefer the pastime for a deck of cards, what is not surprising, here it was invented a stack of 52 cards, which is used every minute worldwide. Besides the already mentioned three main types of gambling entertainment, the casinos in France provide the opportunity to play in:

  • Black Jack;
  • Punto banco;
  • European and American Roulette;
  • Craps;
  • Stud;
  • Baccarat;
  • Slot machines.

The Poker Rooms in France are the platforms for the major tournaments and are very popular among the celebrities.

In the second half of the XX century, the variety of gambling at Pascal’s homeland strongly lagged behind the number of options for spending time in casinos in other European countries. This trend is seen now, because to admit a gambling officially permitted, you need to approve it in the Ministry of Justice.

Details about incomes

As the main income of the gambling business in France is the sports events, precisely their holding is always marked by a significant replenishment of accounts of licensed companies and the State Treasury. For example, during the 2016 Olympics bookmakers rescued 37 and a half million USD, which is almost six times more than during a similar event in England.

However, not everything is so light to the income of the French online gambling. Throughout the legal period since 2010 are observed losses in the industry. Mostly it comes to the online poker, but also some bookmakers often do not report the stable income or high income but about losses. At the moment, the total number may reach US $ 500 million. This is due to, a decrease in the number of licenses and official operators. At the beginning of 2016 there were only 16.

The number of active players at the horse races falls, while the number of accounts for the sports betting is growing. This leads to a decrease in the revenue from the first activities of bookmakers and an increase from the second.

The turnover in the online gambling business in France reached 800 million euros per year. This figure was not always so, in 2014 was 725 million. In the earlier time, this figure was even lower, which means the positive trend in the development of gambling. In the land based establishments the size of the income is tens of billions of euros, and the winnings percentage is less than 10%.

Information about taxes

The gambling tax in France has a progressive system. This means that the higher is the income of the gambling house, the greater will be the rate. However, the casino management is allowed to deduct one-fourth of their gross income. The remaining amount, regardless of its size, will be taxed at a fairly high percentage. If the profit is more than 9.5 million euros, the percentage will reach 80. Moreover, the local taxes should not exceed 15% of the amount received after deduction of 25% of gross income.

The separate story is with the activity of French bookmakers. They are allowed to reduce the gain of its players by 15%, which is called the “payout ratio”. The sports betting are also subject to tax on their total amount and the bookmakers have to make a contribution to the development of the sport.

The poker rooms have a separate scheme. For any manipulation with the money of the players they have to pay 2% to the state. For the poker operators, the deal is worse – they give 33% of their profits. Such payments are too high compared to many EU countries. This forces the ARJEL to insist on tax cuts.

The better land-based casinos in France owned by five groups:

  • Partouche;
  • Tranchant;
  • Emeraude;
  • Joa;
  • Lucien Barrière.

The most famous of them are distributed throughout France and may be located by the ocean and at the foot of the mountains.

Barrièrede Deauville Casino opened in 1864. It is built in front of one of the most famous beaches. However, it was closed in the late XIX century and reinstated only in 1912.

Lyon Vert Casino – is the biggest casino in France. There is observed a strict dress code, and sit down and play the usual blackjack and roulette can only people over 18 years.

Engen-les-Bains is popular due to the fact that an exception to the rule of one hundred kilometers around Paris. Due to this fact, it is recognized as the most profitable, and thereby become the most beautiful. In addition to rooms and gaming tables, the tourists can visit the restaurants, bars, and a theater. The gambling house operates from 16:00 to 4 am daily.

Joa Casino Port Crouesty is likely to appeal to fans of the works of Jules Verne because its interior is designed in the style of the novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.” There is also a bar and a restaurant.

Top online casinos and machines

The online casinos in France are not allowed to hold slot machines, card entertainment and other known types of gambling entertainment on their official websites. Therefore, the residents of this country are forced to become users of foreign online casinos. However, this is not a big problem, since access to such sites is almost always open, and has the opportunity to play slot machines online in the best virtual institutions:

  • Casino Euro Grand;
  • 888 Casino;
  • EuroMoon Casino;
  • Cresus Casino;
  • JackpotCity Casino and others.

These sites generally have a license issued by the Government of Malta and Curacao. Each theme is different, original and lively design, as well as a wide variety of slot machines. Here, are the videos slots by the manufacturers such as:

  • BetSoft;
  • Amaya;
  • NextGen Gaming;
  • Gaminator and others.

The online casinos are based on the software from Playtech, BossMedia and Mycrogaming. This allows you to be confident in their reliability, efficiency and a high level of image quality.

The future of online gambling business in France is vague and depends on future legislation to be considered in 2017. But the land-based casinos only thrive and expand, which makes them attractive and worthy to enter the well-known personalities.

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