Throughout this article, we will show you a selection of top online casinos that serve French players, as well as a guide and tips about the most popular games among the French, casino game providers, payment methods, and other essential details about online casinos that accept players from France.
France is not the most accessible European country for online gambling. The country’s laws are complicated, a touch archaic, and in many ways, out of line compared to EU standards, and they cash with the EU’s open market policy. That said, it isn’t impossible to gamble online in France. There are avenues to do that, but they are exceedingly narrow.
While it is possible to gamble at French sportsbooks, poker rooms and on lottery games, the French authorities make it challenging for you to find bona fide online casinos. There are no legal, licensed online casinos in France. Instead, you must visit so-called offshore or European casino sites to find games to play. The practice is not penalised in France, but it still isn’t approved.
Naturally, this muddies the waters when it comes to French online casino gambling. With this sort of backdrop, what types of online casinos can you choose to play at? What options are available to French players? Join us as we explore the various casino games available to players in France, look at the top software providers offering games, and delve deeper into the rules surrounding French online casino gambling.
French players are legally permitted to bet on sports betting, poker, and lottery games, so they are naturally popular. However, a good number of players in France also try their hand at table games at offshore casinos. In our research, we found the following games proving popular with French players:
Online poker games are legal in France. However, these are often played in tournaments. Because French poker rooms are not permitted to offer their services to players outside the country, the pool is often limited. This, coupled with high taxes, means that many budding poker rooms close rapidly, as they can’t afford to keep running on such a limited number of players.
Lottery games are run by the Française des Jeux (FDJ), and they include bingo games. These are popular with French players precisely because they are legal. However, while many millions of French citizens play lottery games, they are not true casino games.
French roulette, European blackjack, and many slot games can often be found at offshore casinos catering to French players. Roulette, blackjack, and online slot machines are also popular with French players. However, none of these games is often readily available for gamblers online, even if they do exist in French land-based gambling establishments.
Unlike the United Kingdom, Sweden or Germany, there are no major French casino software providers out there, and so French players often tend to play games from software developers located internationally. While it is not uncommon for the Betclic group, FDJ and IG France to offer a few in-house, proprietary lotto games and poker titles, most of France’s players’ attention is turned towards the following developers:
Easily being one of the least gambling-friendly countries in Europe, it won’t surprise you to learn that precious few French gambling sites (poker rooms and sportsbooks) permit you to claim bonuses and promotions. However, that isn’t necessarily something you’re going to need to worry about too much if you decide to sign up and play at offshore and international casino sites.
Many international casinos accept players from France, and they tend to carry a wealth of promotions and bonuses, including:
It is worth also mentioning VIP programs available to players in France as many casinos run VIP programs or so-called loyalty clubs. In a nutshell, these often offer points to bettors when they wager on games. Each new level you reach offers you bigger and better casino rewards. The more you earn, the quicker you can climb the tiers of the scheme to the top.
French casino players won’t have to worry too much about using France-friendly payment methods to deposit at online casinos. While France approved sportsbooks and poker rooms accept specialist options, offshore casinos catering to French players generally accept the same deposit and withdrawal methods that appear popular in other European countries.
Suitable payment methods for French players to use at international casinos that accept them include:
Note that, unlike some other countries, French banks do not prohibit bank transfers from your account to an online casino, despite such casinos not being legal in France. This makes bank transfers a surprisingly popular option with French bettors, more so than in other EU countries.
Most of the casinos out there that accept players from France also accept the euro currency and process payments speedily enough. You are typically looking at transaction times that are instantaneous for deposits. When cashing out their winnings, French players are looking at transaction times of a few hours for cryptocurrencies, 24 hours with e-wallets, and 1-5 business days with all other options.
A typical EU-facing casino that accepts players from France will normally feature similar limits when dealing with deposits and withdrawals. Thus, you won’t be disappointed if you expect a minimum deposit limit of €20 at French casinos. Maximum limits do vary from site to site, though, so we’d expect a couple of grand here. For withdrawals, most French-facing MGA licensed sites have cashout limits of €20, stretching to several thousand euros per transaction. The best sites won’t limit your withdrawals at all.
As discussed earlier, France is an exceptionally fiddly country when it comes to online gambling. The current gambling laws stem from the Gambling Act of 2010 (Law Number 2010-476). Any sites that are deemed legal are run either by Française des Jeux, (the French lottery monopoly), Pari Mutuel Urbaine – PMU and Pari Mutuel Hippodrome – PMH (sports betting), and the L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux – ANJ (online gambling).
ANJ replaced ANJEL (Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne) in 2020, potentially in a bid to lay the groundwork for legalising online casino gambling. In a bid to avoid conflict with EU free market laws, the following gambling games are legal in the country:
Despite this, France has enacted high taxes on all forms of gambling. This ensures that any sportsbook or poker room going live won’t last long. Many betting sites have been removed from the market, just like the French authorities want. By only being able to accept players from France, they simply don’t have a player pool of considerable size to survive financially.
This position has put them on a collision course with the European Union. Until recently, Germany was in the same boat. They have now set up a regulated market, and it is something that the EU will press France to do in time. Until then, the situation is as follows:
Even though you can’t legally find any French online casinos that offer slots and table games, there is no punishment in place for visiting offshore ones. While they are not legal in France, they are accepting of French players.
To play at French-facing casinos, you’re going to need to join a casino based outside of the country. Fortunately, most EU casinos are prepared to accept French bettors. If you want to play with the safest of the bunch, then we’d recommend MGA licensed casinos. These hold EU recognised licenses issued by the Malta Gaming Authority. They are some of the most regulated and trusted casinos in Europe and worldwide.
Failing that, we also recommend online casinos that feature licenses issued by the UK Gambling Commission, Kahnawake Gaming Authority, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, and Curacao e-Gaming bodies.
Avoid any unlicensed casino that doesn’t promote responsible gambling or is unregulated, even if they claim to offer their services to players in France.
Remember that for the time being, you’re going to need to visit offshore/international casinos if you want to play online casino games such as slots, table games and live dealer games in France. Any casinos you choose to play at should offer their services (including customer support) in French, accept the euro currency, and not cut French players off from any bonuses and/or promotions at the site.