How to Promote Online Betting and Gambling in France?

Publication date: 08 Jul 2024

France is a country where gambling is actively developing. The new legislation came into force in 2019 and has already proven its effectiveness. In a new 3S.INFO review, we analyze how to promote online betting and gambling in France. 

How is online betting and gambling regulated in France?

The activity of all gambling operators in France is regulated by the decree of October 2, 2019. It clarifies the provisions of the Internal Security Code (article 320) applicable to gambling. In particular, the definition of gambling, the principle of prohibition and the exceptions.

Betting and gambling in France are subject to a general principle of prohibition, accompanied by several exceptions of varying importance. These are set out in

Article L. 320-6 of the Code de la sécurité intérieure.

By law, sports betting (fixed odds betting), gambling (horse racing) and online poker are permitted in France. 

Land-based casinos operate throughout the country, but casino games and online slot machines are prohibited in the French gambling market.

One of the chapters of the law stipulates that video game competitions are legal in France, but without organizing the acceptance of bets.  Thus, esports exist in France, but betting on them is not allowed.

What kind of gambling is legal in France?

France how-to-promote-online-betting-and-gambling 3SNET games en

Starting in 2020, the main regulatory authority in France is the Autorite Nationale des Jeux (ANJ). The ANJ is responsible for licensing and controlling only the online sector of licensed gambling (sports betting, poker, horse racing).

  • Land-based casinos are regulated and controlled by the Ministry of the Interior.
  • The monopoly on online and offline lotteries in France is held by the Française des jeux (FDJ).
  • The monopoly for betting on horse races at racetracks and land-based bookmakers is held by the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU).

How to obtain a French gambling license?

The Autorite Nationale des Jeux/ ANJ issues three types of licenses:

  • Online betting on horse racing;
  • Online sports betting in the form of reciprocal or fixed odds;
  • Online Circle Games (online poker).

A separate license is required for each type of activity.

The license is issued by the ANJ for a period of 5 years and is renewable.

Any legal or natural person (joint venture) registered in a Member State of the European Union may apply for a license.

The ANJ has a maximum of four months to grant or deny the license.

After obtaining the authorization to organize gambling and betting in France, all operators must also obtain the following authorizations

  • Gaming software approval (one-time);
  • One-time and annual privacy and security certificates;
  • Advertising strategy (annually);
  • Anti-fraud and anti-money laundering action plans (annually);
  • Action plans to prevent excessive or pathological gambling and underage gambling (annually).

In France (according to the regulator as of July 2024), 16 licensed online gambling operators offer legal online gambling. The list of legal gambling operators in France includes the well-known brands Bwin, Betsson, France Pari, Genybet, Pokerstars, Unibet, Vbet.

All licensed gambling operators in France place their sites in the .fr zone.

According to the statistics service SimilarWeb (for May 2024), Zeturf, Unibet, Betsson and Winamax are in the top of the most popular brands for sports betting.

Sports betting in France can only be done on sports competitions registered on the “sports list”. The types of bets that can be placed are also regulated. These lists are compiled and regularly updated by the ANJ.

Interestingly, any resident of France can declare his desire to bet on any world event, announce it on the bookmaker’s website, and the bookmaker will submit an application to the ANJ.

Organizing illegal gambling in France is a crime punishable by 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 90,000 euros.

How are gambling and betting sites blocked in France?

In 2023, a study (PwC commissioned by the ANJ) found that there are between 3 and 4 million online gamblers in France who have gambled on illegal sites in the last 12 months. 

The most popular illegal sites offer online casino games banned in France (baccarat, roulette, video poker and blackjack, slots). 

  • 50% of visitors are unaware that such gambling is illegal.
  • The typical user of illegal casino sites in France is a 35-year-old male, manager or employee.

The law of March 2, 2022 allows the ANJ to order the blocking of sites that offer or advertise illegal games.

Procedure for blocking access to illegal gambling sites in France

  1. After establishing the fact of operating without a license, the ANJ investigator will prepare a report and send an official notice to the address of the site to stop the illegal activity and block access to it from France.
  2. Within 5 days, the owners of the site can submit their objections, and in case of inaction on their part, a second report is made.
  3. Based on this, the president of the ANJ issues an order – Internet access providers, “reference service providers” (search engines and directories) should block or remove illegal content.

The time to block an illegal casino or bookmaker site in France (from the first report to the final ban) is about 2 months.

Between March 2022 and October 2023 (more recent information is not yet available), 300 acts of administrative blocking were established, involving 1230 blocked URLs. That’s almost as many as in the 10 years of the previous system (by the courts).

The website of the Autorite Nationale des Jeux contains a blacklist of gambling sites banned in France. Here you can not only download a file with blocked addresses of illegal casinos and bookmakers, but also leave a complaint.

How much money is made from gambling in France?

According to the website of the French regulator, almost every second inhabitant of the country is a gambler. The gambling market turnover in France in 2022 amounted to 12.9 billion euros. At the end of 2023, the turnover (gross gaming revenue) reached 13.4 billion euros, which is 3.5% more than in 2022.

France is slightly behind the European market growth rate of 5.5% (or €134 million of GDP) in 2023, but remains on par with other countries from the top 5 European countries (including Germany, UK, Spain).

Until 2019, the gambling sector in France was subject to special taxation, which ultimately proved ineffective. Currently, the tax base is calculated individually for each operator (depending on various indicators). 

How to correctly advertise betting and gambling in France

The advertising rules for the promotion of betting and gambling in France are set by the regulatory authority Autorite Nationale des Jeux. In 2020, methodological guidelines were developed for operators.

Recall that after obtaining a license to operate in France, betting companies must submit an annual promotional (advertising) plan. It is examined and approved by the ANJ Commission.  Only after the approval of the regulator, the operator can launch an advertising campaign.

The most important restriction: gambling advertising in France may not target minors or in any way encourage their interest in gambling.

In addition, bookmaker and poker advertising in France must not encourage excessive gambling:

  • It is not allowed to show people or characters with “symptoms” of excessive or pathological gambling (nervousness, anxiety, lying), scenes of excitement or disproportionate emotions to encourage excessive betting.
  • Do not depict scenes of social success (demonstrating financial or social success, gaining fame, power and respect, being admired by others), outward signs of wealth or luxury goods (sports cars, mansions, dreams), the possibility of changing social status, having extraordinary experiences (traveling into space), or access to services generally considered to be reserved for the very wealthy (traveling in a private jet or on a luxury yacht cruise).
  • You must not give the impression that betting and gambling can be a solution to personal (relationship breakdown, loneliness, illness, debt), professional (monotonous and low-paid jobs, unemployment), social (insecurity, poverty, discrimination) or psychological (depression, anxiety, worry, despair, apathy) difficulties.

Nor can it be stated or implied that gambling can provide a livelihood or replace gainful employment.

So, what is possible? Read on for a review of “How to promote online betting and gambling in France”.

How to attract residents of France to casino and bookmaker sites?

France is a country in Western Europe with a population of approximately 65 million people.

Major cities: the capital Paris (2.2 million inhabitants), Marseille (795 thousand inhabitants), Lyon (472 thousand inhabitants), Toulouse (433 thousand inhabitants), Nice (339 thousand inhabitants), Strasbourg (275 thousand inhabitants), Bordeaux (231.8 thousand inhabitants), Lille (228 thousand inhabitants), Rouen (110.7 thousand inhabitants).

French is the official language of France. English is a compulsory subject in schools and is spoken by the majority of the population.

Currency: French franc.

The minimum wage for 2024 will be 1.77 thousand euros, the average – 2.34 thousand euros.

According to the website DataReportal at the beginning of 2024 there were 60.80 million Internet users in France, which is 93.8% of the total population of the country.

The main religion in France is Christianity, followed by Islam (about 4 million people).

Who gambles in France: target audience portrait

According to ANJ data for 2023, the number of unique online players reached 3.6 million. Young people are the most active:

  • 17% aged 18-24;
  • 15% aged 25-34;
  • 9% between the ages of 35 and 44; 
  • less than 5% over the age of 44.

Typical French betting site user:

  • Sports and poker betting: male (89%) under 35 (72%);
  • Horse racing betting: male (89%);
  • Female audience: 18% for horseracing, 11% for poker, 9% for sports.

According to a TGM survey on sports betting conducted in France in October 2022:

  • 28.19% of the population had participated in sports betting in the previous 12 months.
  • 14.69% bet on sports several times a week, 5.99% once a month;
  • Main motivation: 40.81% – desire to “win money”, 22.77% – “like excitement”, for 19.58% it is more interesting to follow the game after betting on the results.

What casino games do residents choose?

According to the SlotCatalog platform (SlotRank ranking based on information from 104 online casinos) in June 2024, the top 5 most popular slots in France look like this:

  1. Book of Dead;
  2. Sweet Bonanza;
  3. Big Bass Splash;
  4. Big Bass Bonanza;
  5. Gates of Olympus.

What sports are popular in France?

  1. The ANJ publishes data on the most popular sports bets among the French. According to the agency, the most popular bets among French residents are on football and tennis.
  2. France is famous for its national football team and big clubs like PSG, Lyon and Marseille.
  3. France is best known for the French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, which is held in Paris at the Roland Garros court.
  4. France has a strong national rugby team, competing in the Six Nations and the World Cup. The French national team has every reason to be proud, having won the championship more than 15 times in its history.
  5. Cycling is extremely popular among French people of all ages. The Tour de France is a world-famous sporting event that takes place every year in July. This famous Tour attracts millions of spectators around the world and is one of the biggest events in France. Since 2022, the Tour de France Femmes, a women’s road cycling race, has been held.
  6. Basketball is another popular sport in France and has many fans throughout the country. France has a professional basketball league, the Ligue nationale de basket (LNB), which includes teams from different regions of the country. The French national team often participates in major international tournaments such as the Olympics, European Championships, and World Championships. Tony Parker, Joakim Noah, Aymeric Jeannot, Sasha Gifta are renowned French basketball players.
  7. In the summer of 2024, Paris will host the Olympic Games. The sports program includes 32 disciplines, including new ones such as breakdancing, skateboarding, climbing and surfing.

What means of payment are available in France?

Bank transfers, Cartes Bancaires and PayPal are popular online payment methods.

Paylib is a local digital wallet supported by most French banks as well as Skrill (except in French Polynesia, French Guiana, TAAF) and Neteller.

Officially, anonymous cryptocurrencies are banned in France and all transactions go through KYC (Know Your Customer or Know Your Client).

How to make creatives for France: cultural peculiarities

The rules of betting and gambling advertising are quite strict and clearly defined. Since there are a lot of restrictions, it is worth preparing an advertising campaign very carefully.

  1. The French city of Cannes is the gambling capital of France and the European gambling capital. Use city views as well as real land-based casinos without emphasizing wealth and success.
  2. There is such a phenomenon as “tennis fashion” in France. The French are known for their sophisticated and stylish clothing choices for the court. Designers create special collections for tennis players that emphasize the elegance and luxury of French style.  Since pictures of real athletes cannot be used, you can highlight individual elements of clothing from famous designers such as Lacoste, Gucci, Hermes, Miu Miu.
  3. Since you cannot directly use images of “luxury”, you can attract players with the help of the color palette: white, gold and black. To create an image of reliability and security, the colors of the French flag are also suitable: blue, white and red. Note also the official colors of the 2024 Olympics: blue, red, green and purple.
  4. To attract bettors, you can use the general style of sports sites popular in France (news, reviews, live streams and broadcasts, schedules): Lequipe.fr, Eurosport.fr, Maxifoot. 
  5. Traditionally, people are more likely to play and bet on holidays. Official holidays in France include New Year’s Day (January 1), Labor Day (May 1), Victory Day (May 8), Christmas (December 25). The two national holidays are Bastille Day (July 14) and the Armistice of 11 November 1918 (November 11). Religious holidays are also observed: Easter Monday (in May, changes every year), Ascension Day (in May, changes every year), All Saints’ Day (November 1).
  6. There are over 12 time zones in the state. This should be taken into account when setting up targeting for your ad campaign.

Which traffic sources are popular in France?

According to StatCounter data for last year (June 2023 to June 2024), the most popular in France are

  • Facebook* social networks – 58.58%, Instagram* – 15.82%, Pinterest – 10.17%, Twitter – 6.75%, YouTube – 4.8%, Linkedin – 1.56%;
  • Search Engines: Google (90.32%), bing (4.92%), Yahoo! – 1.31%, YANDEX – 1.14%, Ecosia – 0.97%, DuckDuckGo – 0.62%;
  • Browsers: Chrome – 63.32%, Safari – 16.77%, Edge – 7.25%, Firefox – 6.1%, Samsung Internet – 2.67%, Opera – 2.01%.

Proliferation of mobile devices: Samsung (32.04%), Apple (28.21%), Xiaomi (13.87%), Unknown (6.46%), Huawei (3.8%), Oppo (3.65%).

Popular operating systems: Windows (37.34%), Android (36.77%), iOS (15.02%), OS X (6.97%), Unknown (1.29%), Chrome OS (1.23%).

*Facebook and Instagram are blocked in Russia by court order.

Legal gambling in France is relatively new, namely in 2019. However, during this time the regulation of betting and gambling in the country has become very clear and understandable, which opens wide prospects for promotion. 3SNET has prepared a list of offers from online casinos and bookmakers waiting for quality traffic from France.

Did you like the article?

Share it with your friends via favorite social media

Read more

Chile is one of the most promising gambling markets for the next decade. The offline […]

Information verified and updated on 18 June 2024! South Africa is a country with an […]

Information verified and updated on 18 June 2024! On June 17, 2024, the Armenian authorities […]

What are 3SNET’s Gambling Reviews? This is full and detailed information about gambling and betting […]

Gambling in Nigeria is one of the most promising gambling markets not only in Africa, […]

Information updated and verified on 15 May 2024! Brazil continues to develop a legal framework […]

Information verified and updated on 29 April 2024! Uzbekistan has adopted a new law “On […]

New information added on 9 January 2024.  Portugal’s gambling market set a new record in […]

Update from 21 November 2023! On 1 April 2024, new restrictions aimed at protecting consumer […]

In September 2023, new figures on the state of the Kenyan gambling market have emerged: […]