Online Casino France

One would imagine that since France was so inspirational in creating many of our most loved gambling games, that they would be a beacon of light when it comes to online gambling. The truth of the matter is far from that, though. In the real world, France heavily restricts gambling activities. In fact, their gambling laws are so muddled that many people living in France don’t know if they have a legal right to gamble online or not, and if so, where. Fortunately, we’re here to try and clean up the mess.

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Online Casino France

Gambling laws in France

France is a right mess when it comes to their gambling laws. Officially, French online gambling is regulated by the Regulatory Authority for Online Games or L’ARJEL for short. They state that all forms of gambling are legal in the country, but are they really?

The PMU (Pari Mutual Urbain) and FDJ (Française des Jeux) officially regulate the horse betting and lotteries and land-based casino gambling industries, and L’ARJEL looks after online gambling. However, L’ARJEL’s jurisdiction covers online gambling except for online casino and betting exchanges. Who regulates online casino gambling and sports betting exchanges then? Well, the answer is, nobody.

French gambling licenses issued by L’ARJEL can cover sports betting, horse racing and online poker but nothing else. This essentially means that any single online casino which operates in France may be doing so illegally.

French online casinos

L’ARJEL busies itself by issuing licenses to any operator wanting to get involved in the online gambling industries under its jurisdiction. They also spend quite a bit of time blocking overseas operators who offer casino gaming services to French players. There is an official list of all the online casinos which the French gambling commission tolerates or approves, but many of those are online poker sites.

In theory, the only way you can play online casino games in France is to visit one of the online sportsbooks or poker sites which has acquired a license from L’ARJEL. They may be able to offer you a range of slots and other traditional casino table games as side-games alongside their sportsbook or poker offerings, but that is hardly the same thing as playing at a true online casino site.

Sportsbooks tend to offer more side-games than online poker sites. If you are a French player and want to everything by the book and above board, then playing at a French licensed sportsbook (but one which has casino games) would arguably be the best way to go. If not, what can you do? Well, there are always offshore casinos which you may wish to play at.

Offshore French casinos

France is a funny sort of country when it comes to their gambling laws. Although they do not expressly forbid online casino gambling for their citizens, they do take time to hunt down operators who offer their services to citizens in France. Puzzled? So are most French players.

A handful of the larger more notable online casinos are sometimes blacklisted, although it is not immediately clear if this is done by the ISPs (internet service providers) themselves, or if they are being forced to do so by L’ARJEL or other French gambling authorities. We do know, though, that France doesn’t prosecute its own citizens for playing at offshore France casinos.

There are a few things you may wish to consider. For starters, it may be worth having a crack at offshore France casinos. Offshore French casinos are online casinos which are licensed outside of France, and many of them are legitimate, safe and secure places to play. Provided your French internet service provider hasn’t blocked said sites, there shouldn’t be anything to stop you from playing.

If you do decide that you wish to play at an offshore French casino, there are numerous ways you can go about it. First and foremost, try and visit the offshore casino in your web browser. If you can access the casino, then your ISP has not blocked it, and you can sign-up and play. You won’t have to fear any punishment, as L’ARJEL only goes after the operators, not the players themselves.

About gambling in France

If you cannot get into the offshore France online casino you wish to play at, then perhaps it is time to look at VPNs (virtual private networks). Unlike neighbouring Belgium, which has gone to great lengths to make sure that VPNs are as ineffective as possible, geo-blocking in France is nowhere near as strict. There is every chance that by using a VPN, you will be able to bypass any local blacklists and play at offshore casinos.

There is another thing which may throw a spanner in the works. Because they understand they may not necessarily be welcome in France or could face penalties for offering their services, many offshore casinos deliberately block access themselves to French players. If you find an offshore casino which doesn’t offer gameplay in the French language, the chances are that you are not meant to be able to play there. Any casino which does offer French as a language option will surely accept you if you can get into their site to create an account.

The only other alternative for French players to play at a French licensed and regulated sportsbook or poker site. Again, you may be able to play proper casino games there, although the selection is likely to be minimal compared to the larger, more internationally renowned online casino sites.
The future of online gambling in France is always up in the air. France is bound to the same EU laws regarding fair play and open markets as other member states, and by blocking offshore casinos based in other EU countries, they are effectively breaking EU law. If the EU cracks down on this, you should be able to play at any EU licensed online casino. For the moment, the French online gambling scene is growing at a rapid rate. Even so, the French aren’t likely to change their rules and regulations on their own accord without a push from the outside, such as the European Union.

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Online Casino France 30-04-2018

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