French gambling laws introduced during 2010 are having a negative effect on the gambling industry, principally due to high taxation.

French Gambling Laws

French Gambling LawsFrance has a long history of association with gambling. The Queen first became included in the French deck of cards, the Roulette wheel was invented by a French man and casinos have long been present all over France.

In 1987 the minimum age for gambling was dropped from 21 to 18 years of age. Slot machines were illegal then but in 1988 they were legalised all over France.

During 2007 the EU served notice on France requesting it to amend their laws to comply with European laws in terms of online gambling. Subsequently, during 2009 gambling laws were amended to open up the online gambling market to operators from other EU countries. The new gambling bill was criticised for giving preference to French online gambling operators. French gambling laws were then amended again during 2010.


Three type of licenses were required for operators, online sports betting, horse racing and poker. Other casino games were not legalised because they were considered too addictive. Following the new law, more than 1.2 million gambling websites were licensed in France. Most were during the first month after applications were possible.

The growth of the gambling industry in France quickly grew and the online gambling industry was reported to be worth 756 million Euros during 2015.


7.5% tax is payable on all sports bets placed with an additional 1.8 levy. Poker pots are taxed at 2%.

Corporation Tax for gambling operators is 33% and most gambling operators in France made a net loss during 2015 because of the high corporation tax.

Since the new gambling laws in 2010 many of the gambling websites which obtained licenses have now left the market. Large number of French players now choose to play illegally on unlicensed offshore sites.

Nearly half of the gaming sites that acquired licenses in 2010 have since left the market. The high taxes on poker pots and sports bets also affect players. A large numbers of players are choosing to do business with unlicensed foreign sites.

It seems that gambling laws and regulations are not working as well for the French Government as they had planned. Perhaps they need to reduce taxes to make it more attractive for operators and players.

Read more about gambling laws in other countries.

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