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Gambling in France


The regulation of gambling in France is based on a general prohibition principle that dates back to the nineteenth century. It is stated in the law of 21 May 1836 (which prohibits lotteries of all kinds), of 12 July 1983 (which prohibits gambling and gaming devices whose operation is based on chance) and 2 June 1891 (which prohibits bets on horse and greyhound racing).

This prohibition principle is based on the hazards of gambling activities. Certain exemptions are nevertheless organized nationally by law and are characterized by the use of the proceeds of games to worthy causes. Local or traditional events limited extents are also exempted from the ban (Act of 22 May 1836). In any event, the minimum age for participation in gambling is in principle 18 years, the age of full age in France. It notes, however, a shift of this requirement once the Decrees No. 78-1067 and No. 85-380, respectively relating to the organization and operation of games of lottery and sports betting games provide that the offers games should not be doing so to encourage young people under 16 years old to play.

The games not covered by the above exemptions are banned in France: for example bets on other events than those covered by the exceptions, slot machines outside of the enclosure casinos, poker videos, or the horse betting other than mutual. Also prohibited sweepstakes or pay gambling made during promotional sales.

Market operators of gambling generally must obtain license issued under strict conditions, including time, samples (for most non-tax) and state control. Games lotteries and sports betting on tangible and intangible support, fall within the monopoly of the French game. Horse racing, real institution in France, are organized by associations (called “Sociétés de Course”) with a special status and not main purpose of achieving economic gain. Sociétés de Course met in two economic interest groups, one devoted to bets made in the enclosure racetracks, the other devoted to bets made outside this place. The creation of casinos may be allowed under strict conditions. French legislation regarding casino is indeed considered to be one of the most rigorous of world.(See TRUCY F., “Report on behalf of the Committee on Finance, Budgetary Control and Economic Accounts of the Nation’s mission on games of chance and gambling in France,” Senate Report No. 223, February 13, 2002, p.103.) Casinos have a monopoly on the operation of slot machines.

Gambling activities are subject to levies assigned mainly to the budget of the French State (general budget or special appropriation account for sport) and to a lesser extent to the social plans. In the case of casino games, levies are also affected by the municipalities on whose territory the facilities are installed, “the option of a direct allocation of withdrawals from the games to benefit causes identified, favored in Europe by countries who can devote a level of public spending lower than France to the well-funded sectors, is not the one adopted by the French authorities “. (Information from the joint contribution of the Ministries of Interior, Budget and Agriculture, p. 8-9.)

The French executive explained the legal framework of the market for gambling by the need to guarantee public order and by social concerns.(Joint contribution of the Ministries of Interior, Budget and Agriculture, see especially p. 3, p. 22-23. Adictel consulting company for players in the gaming industry in the fight against addiction challenges the effectiveness of the French system in terms of prevention of excessive practice of gambling.) These justifications have recently been formally dedicated (Decree No. 78-1067 was amended by Decree No. 2006-174 of 17 February 2006 and Decree No. 85-390 was amended by Decree No. 2006-175 of 17 February 2006. The effectiveness however, the system is challenged. The French Agency for Online Games and notes that “the current legislative framework does not protect public order within the meaning of the law. You should know that today hundreds of thousands of French Internet users regularly play or bet money on foreign websites without any protection or legal recourse. These sites also more reluctant to attack the French market by launching campaigns sports marketing or e-marketing and obviously with impunity “, in” 300 French 000 bet money on the net “press release of 21 January 2005.) the first article

“- Ensure the integrity, security and reliability of gaming operations and ensure the transparency of their operations;

– Channel the gaming application in a circuit controlled by the public authority, to prevent the risk of exploitation of gambling for fraudulent or criminal purposes and to fight against money laundering;

– Frame the game use to prevent the development of dependence phenomena;

– Monitor to not exhort minors under 16 years old to play. “

Finally, the relevant ministries are considering for the coming years a steady but moderate growth in the game offer: “This is at the same time allowing the expression of an attractive offer, accessible to the greatest number, which prevents the appearance of clandestine and illegal tenders, without excessive increase of this offer “. (Joint contribution of the Ministries of Interior, Budget and Agriculture, p.7.)


Bet: random contract by which two or more persons who are of different opinions on any subject, agree that the one whose opinion reveal exact to benefit of any particular benefit from the other or others. In the parimutuel betting players bet against each other mutually, while in the “bet on odds”, each bettor put separately against the organizer who takes a risk rating according to a previously agreed with the player.

Casino establishment with three distinct activities, entertainment, food and gambling, united under a single management.

Lottery: operation offered to the public on an issue and giving rise to the hope of a gain of the path of fate. This is offered on a support with all necessary features to participation in the game. This support can be tangible or intangible technical means.

Slot machine: automatic device which, with the disbursement of a sum of money, reveals the hope of gain and whose operation is based on chance.

Sweepstakes: Advertising transactions by way of writing and tending to engender hope of gain for each participant regardless of the terms of the draw.

Commercial lotteries: sales of buildings, furniture or goods by way of fate that met or bonuses or other benefits due to chance.

Lotteries for charitable purposes: lottery movable objects exclusively for charitable acts, encouragement of the arts or financing of sport nonprofit.

Gambling via media: they can take the form of advertising or commercial lotteries.

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