Gambling in France – casinos in France, online casinos in France
Capital Language Population Currency Regulator Gambling allowed Paris French €67 million Commission Supérieure des Jeux (Gambling Commission), Française des Jeux (FDJ), ARJEL Casinos, slot machines, lotteries, bets Gambling in France Gambling is an important industry French economy, the favorite pastime of millions of French people. Moreover, France is the birthplace of many gambling games, for example, roulette, invented by the great mathematician Blaise Pascal, and the French brothers Blanc added sector 0 to it and created the classic roulette. France is also the birthplace of many card games. The cards themselves were also, if not invented, then improved by the French back in the Middle Ages. Also in the 19th century, the French came up with modern maps with slightly rounded corners. In France, the first casinos also appeared, where visitors played card games of chance and roulette, the very word, casino, is French. The turnover of the industry is about 5 billion US dollars (for 2017, an increase of 2.2%). The average player age is 42 years. 80% of bets are traditionally placed at 8,000 licensed reception points throughout the country. France’s PARI-MUTUEL system is the world’s third largest betting network for racing. In general, the French don’t spend that much money on games – about 570 euros per person per year, which is much less than in many European countries. Legislation and regulation of gambling in France France is a state that is, as you know, the birthplace of not only casinos, but also a developed bureaucracy. This sector of the economy is under extensive control. The legislation of the kingdom, republics and empires has changed many times, from a complete ban during the First Republic, to a fairly well-regulated position of the industry today. To license land-based casinos, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance created the Commission Supérieure des Jeux (Commission for Gambling). Pari Mutuel Urbain Pari Mutuel Urbain is the main operator of the gaming sector related to betting on the run. Lottery games and sports betting are managed by the limited liability company Française des Jeux (FDJ), where 70% is owned by the state (privatization decision was made in mid-2018). Since 2010, the online gambling market has also been regulated. An official body has been created to manage the industry ARJEL (French Gambling Agency). There are 3 other bodies that can also exercise their powers as industry regulators – the French Competition Authority (ADLC), CSA (Independent Authority for the Protection of Freedom of Audiovisual Communications) and CNIL (Citizens’ Privacy Authority). Land-based casinos in France, slot machine halls in France The first ever permission to open a “gambling house” in France was given by King Francis I in 1550. The gambling license is granted to the casino on a temporary basis by the Ministry of the Interior in accordance with the “Decree of May 14, 2007 of the year on the Regulation of Casino Gambling. The licensing process begins with the establishment of a local government advisory committee composed of deputies, mayors and senior officials. They consider incoming criteria such as local competition or economic interests. Then a positive or negative opinion is issued, which is transmitted to the Ministry of the Interior, where the final decision is made. In France, as of mid-2018, there are more than 200 casinos, about 195 of them are located in the metropolis (France proper) and 7 in overseas departments. Most of these more than 20 casinos in France are part of large commercial conglomerates and groups. The main casinos are located in the departments along the Mediterranean coast, the Atlantic Ocean and in Normandy. Approximately half of the departments, primarily the central ones, do not have a casino. The operation of the casino is possible in resort cities, as well as in tourist cities with a population of more than 500,000 inhabitants that have a working state theater. The number of slot machines allowed in France since 1988 and licensed by the Ministry of the Interior has now reached nearly 24,000. Online Casinos in France The 2010 law, which remains in force, still bans all online betting on what the government considers ” games with a random result” – roulette, blackjack, slots and other casino games. Only sports betting is allowed. Online casinos are licensed by ARJEL, an organization that also very severely pursues foreign sites that provide French citizens with the opportunity to play on the Internet (fine up to 10,000 euros and blocking at the provider level). But recently, under pressure from European authorities, the situation is changing. In some semblance of online casino games with limited stakes and strict rules, French players can play by registering on the website of the state-owned company fdj.fr.