France is a vivid example of how the online gambling activity combines with the law. The French folk have always been engaged with sports betting and card games, alongside lotteries and horse races. Do you know that the iconic wheel of fortune takes its roots from the French land? Well, it does! The eminent scientist Blaise Pascal invented the legendary game, which has later gained enormous success worldwide.
Moreover, France gave birth to several other well-liked casino games, like blackjack and baccarat. Casual tourists mainly associate la République firsthand with the magnificent Eiffel Tower or mysterious Notre Dame, but for gamblers, France means much more than beautiful architecture or delicious cuisine. It is a bountiful place for visiting local French gambling spots or testing your luck at the multiple online sports betting companies.
How does the French betting and online gambling sector look nowadays? Who sets rules and regulates bookmakers in France? Do French players pay fees for their winning funds on the casino and sports betting sites? Is it possible to get rich betting on sports online? If you tend to grasp the French gambling market basics and learn how to detect trustworthy sportsbooks from frauds, welcome to the club! Our experts will name the bookies to be trusted from the ones better-to-ward off. They will tell you where to gain the best gambling experience and what extra benefits to try on the French sports betting sites. Join superbetting on our voyage to France to get acquainted with its rich gambling market and top-tier sportsbook and casino operators!
Gambling laws and rules in France
When explaining how the French market works, it is not enough to purely mention whether it is legal or not. Certain pitfalls require some clarification. The essential fact to know about France is that three gambling sectors are currently a lawful business: sports betting (both online and land-based), brick-and-mortar casinos, and Poker rooms. Online casino companies are under a ban in the vicinity despite the French people’s passion for casino games and slot machines. The French government legalized physical and online bookmakers’ work in 2010 after the French Gambling Act’s enforcement.
The gambling regulatory body in France is the Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne (ARJEL). The organization regulates the operation of online bookmakers, betting shops, and brick-and-mortar casinos. Before the 2010 Act came into strength, two local establishments held a solo monopoly on sports betting in la République: Française des Jeux and Pari Mutuel Urbain. These market leaders kept the sole monopoly for decades before numerous bookmakers appeared on the stage. The authorities obviously didn’t rush to remove an embargo for other operators because Pari Mutuel Urbain made substantial donations to the national treasury for years, contributing to the multiple sports organizations.
As for the current rules and regulations considering sports betting in France, both offline and online companies need to be accredited with a 5-year-license from the authorized body (a similar practice for brick-and-mortar casino establishments and Poker rooms). If casinos render sports betting services on their territory, they require receiving two licenses (the approximate cost of one license is €20,000). Though French authorities have a relatively loyal approach to sports betting, especially horse racing, wagering on fantasy sports is under a ban. Such an attitude toward fantasy wagers, as well as toward online casinos, has a simple explanation. Authorities tend to prevent the growth of gamblers’ addiction to games and slots while they don’t see any harm in people’s interest in sports wagers.
Historic facts to know:
Gambling in France dates back to the 16th century. At that time, card games were the privilege of monarchs, but later spread to all population segments.
In the 18c., the French Parliament banned all gambling activities except horse racing betting. The ban was valid till the late 19c.
France gave birth to several popular card games, including people’s beloved blackjack. The country is considered the motherland of the present-day lotteries due to Blaise Pascal’s invention of the wheel of fortune.
In 2001, France legalized the online betting for the state-owned sites, opening new prospects for domestic bookmakers PMU and Française des Jeux to be more accessible for French punters on the open-web space.
Rise of online betting in France
When in the year 2001, France made the first step in the legalization of online sports betting sites, and a decade later, the government introduced the long-awaited Gambling Act, a myriad of domestic online sportsbooks stepped into the gambling arena. By the way, the Act came just in time, ahead of the iconic World Cup, one of the major football events in Europe. According to the bookies’ reports, the number of online gamblers in France has reached 2M people in total since that time. Still, online bookmakers have multiple rules to obey not to get into trouble with the French authorities.
As mentioned earlier, only licensed online betting sites with all rights reserved may operate on the French land by law. Foreign online betting companies may also claim a license in France if they obey the ARJEL policy and mandatory taxation (we’ll further discuss the fees rate here). The online bookies’ boost led to the French betting industry’s evolution because the gambling sites’ accessibility, convenience of use, and diversity of sports markets could beat any offline betting shop’s offer. Another benefit of online betting legalization in France is that unlicensed operators and black bookmakers lost the lion’s share of their regular customers.
Taxes on the French betting sites
The French betting sites are obliged to a mandatory taxation by the law. The fee rate for sports betting providers in France equals 33%. The tariff is not that low, and undoubtedly, it significantly cuts the bookies’ net income. The overpriced levying forced some top sports betting operators to leave the French scene. For instance, one of the best betting websites, bet365, is no longer available under the French domain. It’s a bit pity when such eminent bookmakers leave the stage, but on the other side, taxation is a primary source to contribute to the national treasury.
And what about levying for French casual punters? The great news for all sports enthusiasts is that bettors don’t pay levies on their winnings at the online sports betting sites in France. Even if they make a pretty penny on sports wagers, they can keep the entire sum in their pockets. But if we talk about Poker fans, they have to pay levies on every winning coin (2-8%). Some may argue about such ‘injustice’ considering sports bettors and poker players, but in the French government’s opinion, sports betting doesn’t relate to the income source, while gambling does.
Good vs. bad sportsbook guide
With the plethora of bookies that flooded la Patrie within the last decade, punters can easily get lost in the bookmakers’ woods. It’s not a piece of cake even for skilled bettors to distinguish the best sports betting sites in France from low-profile frauds. Thereby, our pundits drew up this proven guide to help users identify white-label bookies.
Good bookie hallmarks
Accreditation: Licensed operators are supervised by the French law, which firsthand aims to protect customer rights. In case of any disputes between customers and bookmakers, the first can count on the claim’s legitimate resolving.
Handy site layout: Top sportsbooks are focused on making their platforms suitable and friendly for regular users. Thus, their websites (with all rights reserved) can boast with handy navigation, fitting even the amateurs.
Plentiful betting options: Online sportsbook operators can beat any black bookie by the ample assortment of betting markets. High-ranked French betting sites have 35+ sports in their content offering (including the Parisians’ beloved horse race betting), extra to alternative options, like TV and music awards, politics, and even weather.
Top-notch live streaming: Leading betting sites in France deliver thousands of HD live broadcasts of the major tourneys and matches on their portals. It’s a super-smart means to engage punters by letting them watching the games and betting in one place.
Groundbreaking loyalty package: Bonuses are the proven technique to stimulate gamblers’ engagement and make them return to a bookie’s platform again. The high-class sportsbooks usually have impressive loyalty packages for newbies and regular users, including a welcome bonus, cashback, free bets, alongside free spins and even money remuneration for casino fans.
Rich payment methods: White-label bookies leave it for French players to decide how they wish to deposit funds and withdraw their hard-earned coins. Thus, reputable sports betting sites in France have several options for a choice: e-payments, card and bank transfers, and even crypto solutions.
Superb help center: The best sportsbooks have the best customer service teams. It’s a golden rule to learn and remember for all bookies that only step on the French gambling stage! Qualified help center agents are the face of the betting companies. They should be well-trained, attentive to details, and always ready to resolve users’ complaints.
Bad bookie hallmarks
No license by the regulatory body
Poor site interface and gruesome navigation
A lack of the betting options
No live streaming platform or low quality of broadcasts
Miserable assortment of deposit methods and draconian fees
No promotions and loyalty programs for users
Inexpert customer service reps
Bad mobile adaptability
Best sports betting platforms in France
Our experts made a thorough investigation while hunting for the trustworthy and credible betting sites in France until they found authentic diamonds that we could present to your attention. The sportsbooks on our recommended list possess all qualities required to satisfy the most demanded French players’ preferences. These bookies have a fantastic sports collection, which compiles domestic and international events, esports, and alternative options. Competitive odds combined with early lines for the prominent French tourneys and games give punters the broader prospects for valuable wagers.
Another unbeaten privilege of these particular sportsbooks is a much higher withdrawal maximum, which is most beneficial for high rollers, making big bucks on gambling. The extended maximum allows them to request winning coins at once, instead of cutting the withdrawal into multiple transactions. The lavish bonus offers and excellent promo campaigns gave us one more motive to add these online sports betting sites to the list. Users may surf the platforms via the desktop or try the handy and well-designed mobile versions for wagering en route. Finally, we tested how fast the help center agents react to requests and resolve claims to be convinced in their qualifications and expert background. Our verdict about these French betting sites – they receive A+ from our team.
Popular sports for betting in France
The French are notable for their passion for sporting activities. They receive equal pleasure and emotional charge from playing sports, watching games, and betting on events. We prepared a list of the beloved sports that are en vogue for betting in France.
France is among the first countries that legalized horse race betting. Thus, pony wagers make the priority among the French folk. The France Galop regulates the entire horse racing sector in the vicinity. The races divide by groups considering their status. The most prominent horse racing events in France are Prix Ganay, Grand Prix de Paris, and Prix de la Foret.
Tennis wagers are colossally popular among French punters. Due to the diversity of home and global tennis tournaments, gamblers can bet on their favorites all year round. The Tennis Federation controls, coordinates, and promotes this sport in France. The major tennis events, most well-liked by local bettors, are the iconic French Open, Paris Masters, and Lyon Open.
Football betting in France tops the locals’ favorite sports; punters equally adore home events and international matches. The national league system consists of two main divisions, Ligue 1 and 2. As for the global football events, French bettors traditionally show a huge interest in the Champions League games. PSG, the French professional FC, is the unbeaten favorite at all European matches.
The world knows many eminent cyclists with French roots honored with medals at numerous international tourneys. The legendary Tour de France is one of the most prestigious races worldwide. The race takes place within 23 days, giving superb prospects for spectators and sports bettors to combine the thrill of forecasting the grand tour outcome with the anticipation of betting on the possible winners. The first-ever Tour took place more than a century ago, and with the time course, it has only pumped up its popularity among French and global fans.
Great alternative for French bettors
Sport is not a single thing that punters can try on the online gambling platforms. A dominant share of French sportsbooks tends to diversify their content menu to boost their regular user-base, and live-dealer games are of service here. More and more bookmakers in France have integrated casino games with live dealers after noticing the growing hype around these products. The advantages of such games are thrilling dynamics, impressively stylized studios, and charming presenters that run the games LIVE 24/7.
The French fell in love with the brand-new betting format since they first tested live-dealer games. The best part is that each round lasts no more than 5 minutes, and users don’t have to wait the eternity to see if their bet hits the target. Attractive hosts create a self-presence effect for gamblers who want to spice up their user experience. Moreover, the bet types’ diversity and bountiful jackpots double the players’ thrill amid the gameplay.
Can one get rich off sports wagering in France?
What are the chances of growing to a millionaire on bets? Let’s be candid, unless you are a fortune-teller (or know the person), prepare to pass a long way to start earning hard cash on sports wagers. It requires a regular mastering of your skills and knowledge, alongside a profound know-how of the market and sports industry in general. Please note that it makes no sense to count purely on the lucky star when placing a bet. If you seriously intend to earn a bunch of money on wagers and consider betting not only as a pleasurable pastime, then make a move and don’t count on Lady Fortune. Instead, better take a moment to self-educate, i.e., watch events, monitor sports news, know the athletes, and learn the rudiments of valuable and thoughtful betting.
France will gladly open its doors to online gambling operators if they obey the law and operate according to the set rules. The French folk have always been attracted to sports, and online bookmakers’ legalization gave fantastic prospects for local punters to savor their beloved pastime and earn a tidy sum on wagers. The French arena is currently full of young bookmakers, alongside long-term industry giants. Some may say that it is even too crowded in the betting sector in this day and age. By this review, we tend to help casual French users identify 100% trusted bookies from scammers. Hopefully, none of you will ever bump into frauds when spending quality time on the French betting platforms.
What are the lawful gambling activities in France?
Both online and offline bookmakers, Poker rooms, and ground-based casino houses are legal in France if they have the ARJEL license.
Can I bet on horse racing online in France?
Sure! France was among pioneers in horse race wagering legalization. You can bid on races online on any of the licensed French bookies' sites.
Should I pay a fee for my winnings?
The funds you make on sports wagers in France are not taxable, opposite to the winnings you earn in Poker. In this case, the fee rate equals 2-8%.
What are the best French betting sites?
All sportsbooks on our recommended by experts list can be titled the best. They are credible, reputable, and have the wealthiest market offering for local punters.
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