The French love of games and entertainment has always meant that this nation enjoys gambling in all shapes and forms. Card games, especially, are considered something of a national pastime, and it is believed - especially among Frenchmen - that the 52 card deck, blackjack and the roulette wheel all originated in France! Despite tough government control on the French gambling industry, much leniency has been seen in the past couple of years, which includes the opening of the online gambling industry to foreign competition.
List of 45 French Online Casinos
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Gambling in France
For many years, the French government believed that in order to keep problem gambling to a minimum, and to ensure that all profits from this industry come back to the state, it would need to have a complete monopoly over French casinos. And so, while it is quite possible to find any type of gambling, ranging from casinos to lottery, and from horse racing to slots gaming (which was legalized in 1988), the government still keeps a sharp eye on the market and only allows a form of gambling after the Justice Minister sanctions it.
Popular casinos can be found in the south of France, such as the Palais de la Mediterranee Casino in Nice, while the Casino Barriere d'Enghien-les-Bains is a good choice for Parisians. All in all, there are 160 state licensed casinos in the country.
All lotteries and betting activities are conducted by La Francasise des Jeux, while Le Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) has power over French sports betting.
Online Gambling in France
While French online gambling has always been a sticky subject due to tough laws and the question on how to regulate this industry, many changes have taken place in recent years. In 2010, new laws were officially implemented, essentially allowing offshore online casinos, poker sites and sports betting companies to offer their services and compete with local gambling sites. Obtaining a license is a difficult process and operators are still up against some tough restrictions, however, in the grand scheme of things, French online casinos are now more widely available, and local players have an excellent range of choice and variety.
French online casinos offer players the opportunity to play in their own language and pay in Euros, and there are over 100 of these sites available, many of them powered by software groups such as Real Time Gaming and Microgaming. The most popular form of payment among French online gamblers is by debit or credit card, while alternative methods such as Entropay and the PaySafe card are also accepted.