Are online casinos legal in France?
France’s online gaming industry has been legal since June 2010 for online poker, horse racing and sports betting. High taxation means that all legal operators in France lose enormous amounts and the Online Gaming Regulation Authority (Arjel) is planning on easing this policy to keep operators within the industry. What’s the situation for online casinos? Online casino games are forbidden by law in France. Certain conditions have to be met to have a permit to offer Sports betting, poker and horse racing. However, online casinos have no place in France and are considered to be illegal so players living in France cannot play in online casinos.
The Playtech and Microgaming story
Online casino software developers such as Playtech and Microgaming decided to withdraw from the French market because of online poker rooms and sports betting sites that use their technology. These two online gaming giants have preferred to block access to their online casinos to players living in France because of online poker rooms and sports betting sites such as Titan and Chilipoker that use their software. Playtech and Microgaming couldn’t have one foot in the legal camp with legal groups in France and one foot in the “illegal” camp by continuing to allow French players into their online casinos. The two groups came to a decision and preferred to remain legal by closing down their casinos which were very lucrative for both companies.
It’s obvious that this decision is just a strategy because whenever France legalises online casinos both groups will be best placed to capture the major share of the market just as they did illegally for many years. In contrast to the three permitted areas where there is a pre- and a post-Arjel era, online casinos find themselves in the exact same situation as before.
French online casino players
Most online casinos offer their casino games and customer service in French. Casinos in French aren’t just casinos for French players. It’s more appropriate to use the term “French speaking” as there are over 75 member states in the International French speaking Organisation. One of the best French casino guides, inspecteurbonus.com offers several French online casinos aimed at French speaking players and not just French players.
People living in France are affected by the fact that it is illegal to play in online casinos. Arjel has blocked certain sites some of which hold European licences in particular from Malta. According to Arjel, an American player living in France cannot access an online casino because he is resident in France. To summarise, no French residents of any nationality can play in online casinos. On the other hand, French speakers living outside France can play in any casinos they choose. It’s important for players to know their country’s jurisdiction before playing online casino games.