Best French Betting Sites

france gambling

Population: 67.022.000
Active Players: 30.000.000
Currency: Euro
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse race betting, casino games, poker, lottery, keno, bingo, scratch cards
Operator types: Online bookmakers, state-run betting shops (FDJ), land based casinos, state-regulated horse races (PMU), state-owned national lottery games operator Française des Jeux (FDJ)
Designated authority: Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL)
Status: Regulated for licensed online betting sites in France & FDJ betting shops

France is located in western Europe and is one of the most historic countries when it comes to gambling. This is the birthplace of roulette, blackjack and the very first regulated horse racing wagers. Despite France's liberal heritage, online sports betting has come through many ups and downs before finally being legalized and successfully regulated. Nowadays French players mostly punt on football betting, on the licensed online betting sites in France or the state-run Française des Jeux (FDJ) betting shops.

Bet in France - 5 things you should know

  • Currently there are 13 licensed online operators with 15 betting websites. However, there aren't any licensed online casinos
  • You must pay from 2% up to 8% tax on every pot you win on poker. Sports betting and horse racing winnings are tax free since 2016
  • No betting exchange & spread betting websites operate in France, as they are not licensed
  • Players must be at least 18 years of age before they can open a bookie account
  • Technically it is not illegal to punt on unlicensed bookmakers, however, those are usually blocked from your internet provider

Best Betting sites in France

The following shortlist contains the best betting sites in France. We selected those particular bookies after comparing their odds, betting markets and payout.


Players Rating: (11 Rates) 7.5


Players Rating: (10 Rates) 8.2


Players Rating: (4 Rates) 5.3

Online Betting in France - The legal framework

Online gambling, and by extension online betting in France became legal on May 12, 2010, with the introduction of The Law No 2010-476, which is also known as the French Gambling Act. It officially came into force on May 13, 2010, and opened the market to competition, allowing foreign online operators to apply for a French license. It also took a decisive step towards the regulation of the gambling industry with the creation of an official regulatory body, the French Autorité de régulation des Jeux en ligne (ARJEL).

According to the provisions of the French Gambling Act, only 3 types of online gambling are considered legal; sports betting, horse racing and poker. Online casinos are not licensed, as casino games along with spread betting and betting exchange in France were characterized as highly addictive by the lawmakers.

It is also worth noting that prior to the regulation of the online gambling market in 2010, sports betting and horse racing were controlled by the state-owned monopoly operators Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU). They both received permission by the state to offer their services online back in 2001. Nowadays, although they continue to operate, they apparently no longer have a monopoly in the online market. Nonetheless, they still hold a monopoly when it comes to landbased betting, as they both have many betting shops in France.

Licensed French Betting Sites 

Currently, less than 20 licensed online betting sites offer their services to French punters. This relatively low pool of French betting sites is due to the 33% corporation tax imposed by the government, which significantly limits their potential profits. As mentioned above, there are currently 3 different licenses concerning: sports betting, horse races, and Texas hold ‘em & Omaha poker. Apart from licensed sites, French bettors can choose to place their bets on any of the state-owned FDJ betting shops, on FDJ's website Parions Sport Online, or on any unlicensed bookie (bookmaker hors ARJEL), at their own discretion.

Unlicensed Bookmakers in France

With such a few providers licensed by ARJEL, it becomes apparent that there are also others that don’t hold a domestic license. They still accept French players despite the fact that they face huge fines. One can access those bookies directly through their .com website and in case they are blocked, through mirror websites or by using a VPN. It is also worth mentioning that all the popular deposit methods (i.e. e-wallets like Neteller, EcoPayz and PayPal) don’t work on them. Nonetheless, they do accept cryptocurrency deposits.

Top Bookmakers that exited the French market

The strict licensing system and the tax regime that has been imposed since the regulation of the gambling market and the introduction of ARJEL in 2010, has led many international brands to leave the French market. Bet365 France is one of the most prominent foreign bookies that exited the market and haven’t applied for a local license. William Hill France also left the country on May 26, 2010, following the introduction of the new betting law and the changes to the regulatory regime.

Sports Betting in France

Football betting in France is by far the most widespread betting activity, as Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 fixtures are always on top of the best French bookmakers. Apart from football, betting on tennis and especially on the French Open is very popular among punters. Rugby is also one of the all-time favorite sports of the French, who bet on Les Bleus on big events like the Six Nations Cup. As regards cycling, the Tour de France is the absolute competition, with millions of French bettors placing their bets for the big winner every single year. Another fan favorite is the Monaco Grand Prix, as betting on the famous F1 circuit has always been fascinating.

How to bet in France: Deposits and Withdrawals

Despite the draconian measures implemented by ARJEL, there are countless ways you can choose to make a deposit or a withdrawal. Credit/debit cards, e-wallets, Paysafecard and bank transfer are all available without fees; except for Neteller, which charges minimal fees (around 2-4%), that apply in accordance with the EU laws. If you happen to punt on an unlicensed provider, then you should be able to use Payeer, Neosurf, Cashlib, and Bitcoin.

The future of online betting in France

aust-150x150It's hard to believe that a country with a liberal heritage like France, would act in such an authoritarian manner towards gambling. Since the imposition of the French Gambling Act, the market is dominated mostly by local operators. The lack of online casino licenses, the relatively high corporate tax and the 8% tax on turnover, are the reasons why the top international brands like Bet365 stay out of the market. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the lack of decent betting options forces local players to risk their money on unlicensed bookmakers. Our verdict is that France isn't exactly the most player-friendly country when it comes to online betting and it definitely needs a more operator-friendly legal framework to reach its potential.

Complete List of French Bookmakers

Bookmakers Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Rating    
  • Upcoming bookmaker
  • Nice range of alternative bets
  • Competitive odds
  • 1. Upcoming bookmaker
  • 2. Nice range of alternative bets
  • 3. Competitive odds
Review Bet Now
  • Recognizable brand across the globe
  • Huge variety of markets and sports events
  • Many alternative betting selections
  • 1. Recognizable brand across the globe
  • 2. Huge variety of markets and sports events
  • 3. Many alternative betting selections
Review Bet Now
  • 100% up to $5000 welcome bonus
  • Ηigh odds on soccer, basketball, American sports
  • Great range of alternative markets
  • 1. 100% up to $5000 welcome bonus
  • 2. Ηigh odds on soccer, basketball, American sports
  • 3. Great range of alternative markets
Review Bet Now
  • Betting in anonymity
  • Exclusive "Bookspybet" code
  • Extra security with the 2step authenticator
  • 1. Betting in anonymity
  • 2. Exclusive "Bookspybet" code
  • 3. Extra security with the 2step authenticator
Review Bet Now
  • Respected bookmaker
  • Great variety of sports events
  • Νο. 1 choice in mobile betting
  • 1. Respected bookmaker
  • 2. Great variety of sports events
  • 3. Νο. 1 choice in mobile betting
Review Bet Now
  • Security and experience by... Pokerstars
  • More than 35 different sports
  • Great odds at major leagues
  • 1. Security and experience by... Pokerstars
  • 2. More than 35 different sports
  • 3. Great odds at major leagues
Review Bet Now
  • Betting in anonymity
  • Extra security with 2step authenticator/sms 
  • Cash out/partial cash out
  • 1. Betting in anonymity
  • 2. Extra security with 2step authenticator/sms 
  • 3. Cash out/partial cash out
Review Bet Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is gambling legal in France?

Yes, gambling is considered legal in France. Nonetheless, it’s worth mentioning that not all forms of online gambling are indeed legal. Namely, casino games, spread betting and betting exchanges are not.

Q: Which are the most popular online gambling sites in France?

The most popular online gambling sites that operate in France are Bwin, Unibet and Betclic. All three of them hold a local license issued by ARJEL, the French regulatory authority for online games.

Q: Are betting exchanges legal in France?

Exchange betting is among the types of gambling activities that are not legal in France, as they are deemed too addictive. As a consequence, betting exchange in France is not licensed.

Q: Is Bet365 legal in France?

Bet365 is not among the licensed bookies that operate in France with the approval of ARJEL. Thus, it is not considered as legal and it doesn’t accept French bettors.

Q: Can you use Bet365 in France?

Bet365 is one of the brands that exited the French market, following the introduction of the current regulatory regime and licensing system back in 2010. Therefore its website cannot be used in France.

Q: Does William Hill accept players from France?

William Hill is one of the prominent international bookmakers that don't accept French players. William Hill France announced its exit from the local betting market on May 26, 2010 due to the legislation change.

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