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Best Betting Sites in France for 2023

France’s online sports betting sector is one of the safest on the Old Continent. The French can boast of having one of the best environments for betting on sports in complete safety and peace of mind, due to the rigorous rules applied by the state.

Apart from safe betting, sports betting sites in France offer many perks, such as great bonus offers, a variety of payment methods, and a huge selection of sports and markets to choose from.

Read on to find out more about online sports betting in France for 2023.

🏆 Best Sports Betting Sites for French Players in Dec 2023

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⚖️ Is Sports Betting Legal in French?

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in France?

Yes, online sports betting is legal in France when done at authorized betting sites.

French Sports Betting Laws & Regulations

The National Gaming Authority (in French, ANJ) defines sports betting as betting a sum of money on the score or on a game phase of a sporting event, with the aim of winning money if this score or this phase of the game takes place. Legally, it is a random contract by which the bettors, who are of divergent opinions on the question, agree that whoever guesses the outcome of the competition will benefit from the other, or from a specific benefit.

Such gambling and games of chance are in principle prohibited in France by the Internal Security Code. Their practice is strictly controlled and possibly sanctioned by the public authorities.

Good to know: do not confuse sports betting and lotteries. A club can still organize lotteries under certain conditions.

The idea that the game leads the bettor to a real sacrifice in the hope of a risky gain motivates this prohibition. It aims first and foremost to protect the players. However, the law authorizes by exception the organization of certain bets. This is the case of horse betting or online sports betting which is multiplying today. They represent a real source of funding for clubs and other players in the sports world

✅ “Hard” Bets Explained

“Hard” sports betting refers to the betting offers offered in the physical sales networks of Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU). To better control the ban on the use of bets, the State has in fact decided to grant a limited number of operators a legal monopoly on the organization of games.

The PMU is the oldest, created in the 1930s by extension of the Société de Courses. It has the monopoly of the organization of horse betting, especially prohibited by the law of June 2, 1891.

The organization of all other sports betting, prohibited by the law of May 21, 1836, is attributed to the FDJ by the law of December 29, 1984. It is a limited company 72% owned by the State.

➡️ What Are the Risks in Case of Violation of the Monopoly on Hard Bets?

The regulation of sports betting has always been a public order issue for the legislator. Violating this monopoly constitutes a criminal offense punishable by three years imprisonment and a fine of €90,000. The penalty is increased to €200,000 if the organization is carried out as an organized gang.

✅ Brief History of Online Betting in France

Before 2010, this monopoly also extended to online sports betting. However, in 2007, the European Commission, with the support of the Court of Justice of the EU, obtained from the French State that it change its regulations in this area. The French State then adopted a completely different policy with regard to online sports betting.

The law of May 12, 2010, opens the activity in France to private operators approved by the National Games Agency (ANJ). Any licensed operator can therefore organize online sports betting since 2010.

➡️ What Bets Are Organized?

With regard to “hard” bets, only bets organized by the FDJ or the PMU are authorized in France. Their activity is directly controlled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. With regard to online betting, it is the law of May 12, 2010, which organizes the control of the games offered.

On the one hand, this law expressly prohibits certain practices, such as stock market betting, or spread betting. The law does not pronounce on the object of the bet but on its organization.

In addition, it delegates to the National Gaming Authority the role of establishing a list of authorized sports bets. It is therefore the ANJ that determines the object of sports betting in France. The ANJ regularly issues decisions in which it authorizes or prohibits betting on certain sporting events, or on certain game results.

Good to know: these decisions are freely available on the ANJ website.

In these decisions, the ANJ takes into account:

  • The quality of the organizer of the competition: the competitions organized by an associative club cannot be the supports of sports betting;
  • Advertising of the results of the competition: it is the results as they are officially announced by the organizer of the competition that closes the sports bet;
  • The age of the participants in the competition: Sports betting on underage competitions is strictly prohibited;
  • Notoriety and the stakes of the competition: bets on friendly matches between minor teams in the federal rankings are prohibited.

The bets authorized online, therefore, depend on the decisions of the ANJ, whose activity should be monitored. As such, it is common for the ANJ, without contradicting itself, to organize derogations from its past decisions in new decisions.

➡️ The Risks in the Event of the Organization of a Prohibited Bet in France

The organization of a prohibited bet in France constitutes an offense comparable to the violation of the monopoly of the FDJ and the PMU. In other words, the violation, in any way whatsoever, of the ban on organizing gambling in France, is punishable by a fine of €90,000 and 3 years’ imprisonment. To these sanctions are added those specially provided for in the law of July 12, 2010, in the event of disregard of the decisions of the ANJ.

ANJ is competent to pronounce sometimes very heavy sanctions (withdrawal of approval, fines) against online betting organizers. Finally, if the offense is clear, the penalties provided for laundering the proceeds of illegal gambling are added.

To obtain ANJ approval, the operator must demonstrate its ability to:

  • to meet the obligations related to its activity, in particular, the preservation of the assets of the bettors;
  • to safeguard public order by combating fraud, in particular, money laundering;
  • to combat pathological gambling.

✅ Gambling Prevention

First of all, the law guarantees the bettor protection that is close to prevention against gambling addiction, and its risks begin with the control of advertising for sports betting.

It is not uncommon for a sports betting operator to become a sponsor of a club or an athlete. If today’s advertising for exclusive or approved operators is authorized, it is strictly regulated by the Internal Security Code. For example, advertising to the attention of, or simply access to, minors is prohibited. Failure to comply with these provisions relating to advertising for sports betting is punishable by a fine of €100,000.

➡️ Protection Against Pathological Gambling in France

In its part relating to the regulation of advertising for sports betting, the Internal Security Code also provides that any advertisement must include a message of prevention against pathological gambling. Betting operators are thus bound by an obligation of constant communication on the risks of the game towards bettors.

On the online betting site, the operator is required in particular:

  • To communicate the bettor’s balance;
  • To propose self-limitation or self-exclusion from gambling;
  • To provide information on the procedure for registering with the gambling ban files.

With regard to people banned from gambling, the operator is finally required to cease all publicity against them, and to obstruct any attempt to bet on their part.

➡️ Stake Guarantee

A condition of ANJ approval is for the company to prove that it is able to pay the promised earnings. It will justify, for example, security, a trust, insurance, or an escrow account. If the operator’s guarantee seems insufficient in consideration of the players’ assets, the operator must inform the ANJ as soon as possible. The latter is entitled to take measures accordingly.

🏆 How to Choose the Best Betting Site in France

Sports betting has taken a real place in the activities of thousands, if not millions, of football fans around the world. The latter invest astronomical sums of money in it. But many get into it without really paying attention to the platform they choose.

To prevent any unpleasant situations, here is a short guide on how to choose a sports betting site in France and bet safely.


Choose a Legal and Ergonomic Platform for Franch Betting

How to Choose the Best Betting Site in France

If you’re new to sports betting, you’ll find plenty of options in France with approval from ARJEL (now known as ANJ). To ensure a smooth and error-free experience, it’s best to choose an online betting platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. By doing so, you can avoid any confusion or missteps caused by a poorly designed website.


Choose French Betting Platforms that Offer Attractive Welcome Bonuses

Most online betting sites offer a welcome bonus to new members registered on their platform. This bonus allows the user to benefit from a certain amount of money, in addition to his initial deposit, after registering on the sports betting platform. Other operators offer to refund your first bet, whether winning or losing.


The Sports Offered

When it comes to choosing online sports betting sites in France, it largely depends on the specific sports you want to bet on. Plenty of French bookmakers will fit your needs if you are interested in popular sports like football, basketball, or tennis. However, if you prefer more niche sports like rowing or curling, finding a suitable site may take some extra effort.


Betting Odds in France

When selecting a sports betting site, the odds are essential to consider. Correctly predicting the outcome of a sporting event leads to winning your bet, but placing your money where the odds are the most favorable increases your winnings. You can easily compare odds using an odds comparator. However, with the recent regulation of gambling in France, the bookmakers’ odds have become identical, leading to smaller differences between them.


Selection of Payment Methods on French Sportsbooks

The payment methods available are not always the same on all sports betting sites in France. In most cases, the means of payment available are, among other things, made via:

  • Credit cards: Payments and deposits by VISA and MasterCard credit card are available on all major online betting sites;
  • Bank transfer: Depositing by bank transfer is also possible on the vast majority of French sports betting sites;
  • Electronic wallets: PayPal and Skrill are available on most bookmakers. Neteller can also be used on certain sites, such as NetBet for example;
  • Prepaid cards: Some sites accept payment by prepaid cards, such as Paysafecard, Moneyclic, or NeoSurf. ZEbet in particular also accepts Ticket Premium, in addition to the 3 previously mentioned.


The Transaction Time

It is always problematic to have your money “confiscated” by an operator who does not transfer your earnings to you within an acceptable period of time. As a well-informed bettor, you can find out about the habits and practices of the bookmaker on these issues before you register definitively on the platform.


Customer Service on French Betting Sites

The customer service of a sports betting site is a crucial aspect to consider. A high-quality platform should offer clear and accessible information to support informed betting decisions. Most sports betting sites in France provide multiple ways to reach their support teams, such as by phone, email, or instant messaging. However, the best platforms should always have a live chat available 24/7 for immediate responses to customer inquiries.

💵 How to Bet on Sports in France

As stipulated by the ANJ, online betting is prohibited for minors. At the age of 18, therefore, the player only has to register on the platform of his choice and prove that he is indeed of legal age to be able to play in France. Some online betting platforms already make available to the new player a certain sum allowing him to play when registering. Others require you to enter your credit card to get the first bonuses.


Choose a French Bookmaker

How to Bet on Sports in France

The choice of the online sports betting site in France is essential when registering for the very first time. Indeed, statistics show that around 70% of punters remain loyal to their first bookmaker. In France, all sites approved by the ANJ are almost the same. It is for the new player to look for those which give the most bonuses or quite simply those which he likes the most.


Create an Account

Creating an account is very simple: the new player has chosen an online betting platform and registered there. He will only have to provide basic information, including his age, which will later be verified via identity documents or his credit card.


Collect a Welcome Bonus

Once the creation of the account on the online sports betting site in France has been confirmed and validated, the new player is entitled to the welcome bonuses. In general, these can only be used once. This is why you have to be very careful about the choice and the way you are going to use it.


Place your First Bet

It is obvious that if a player registers on an online betting platform, it is to make sports bets, so he will place bets there. This important step requires a good reflection in the choice of the first sporting event on which the player will bet. Sports betting sites in France offer various sports and markets and therefore the betting experience will be quite fun.

🏈 Popular Sports and Markets to Bet On in the France

Since 2010, the PMU no longer has had a monopoly on online sports betting. This market has therefore grown considerably over the past decade. Each year, it shows 30% more growth. Some sports are the spearhead of online betting in France.

💵 Types of Bets in the France

Types of Bets in the France

French players have a variety of betting options at sports betting sites in France. Therefore, being avid and mostly experienced bettors, they will use a plethora of types of bets. Naming them all is almost impossible, therefore in further text, there will be an introduction to the main types of sports bets most commonly used in France, arranged from the simplest to the most complex.

🎁 Best Bonuses, Free Bets, and Promotions on French Online Betting Sites

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💳 Payment Options at French Betting Sites

What Is the Best Payment Option for French Players?

Generally, when betting at French betting sites, credit cards are the most popular choice as they have great limits and no fees. E-wallets are much faster but usually have small fees.

Payment Options at French Betting Sites

In recent years, French bookmakers have increasingly adapted to the needs of bettors by offering them new alternatives to play, in particular ways to bet without a bank card. While betting with credit/debit cards is still quite commonly used in France, it is always nice to have more options for people who prefer online banking. Let’s see what the sports betting sites in France have to offer in terms of payment options.

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In general, gambling is illegal in France, although there are many exceptions, such as online sports betting.

Online gambling is legal in France (to some degree) and those legal gambling options are incredibly safe.

Yes, of course! You just have to think about keeping your personal information secret, keeping your passwords to yourself, and choosing them strong enough.

Players can choose whether they want to set betting limits or not but the betting services are not allowed to set any limits. Therefore, only the banking option will say what limits are present.

If you are French, you will never pay tax on your winnings. Like the lottery winners, for example.

With almost every possible deposit method, you can expect your money to be deposited into your betting account instantly. For withdrawals, it can take between 3 and 7 days.

It is impossible to choose one as all bettors have different preferences. What’s important is that the site is legal, certified, offers great odds and selection of sports.

Sports betting sites in France will offer a lot of sports to bet on, including popular football, basketball, tennis, but also moto racing, horse racing, eSports, etc.

Like in most of the world, football is the most popular sport to bet on in France, with basketball and tennis coming close behind.

Sports betting sites in France use decimal odds (for example, Olympique Lyonnais – PSG: OL wins 2.5, draw 3, PSG wins 2.0). The total winnings will be calculated as: total odds x investment (100 euro for OL to win = 250 euro of winnings).

Some French bookmakers offer free bets as bonuses and promotions. However, these are not that constant and should be collected whenever possible.

Welcome bonuses are claimed upon registration. Some betting sites will offer them immediately, some will require special codes, and some ask for deposits.

The FDJ website has made an Internet page available to users who have questions. It is also possible to contact Joueurs info service on 09 74 75 13 13. Available 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., this number (cost of a non-surcharged local call) allows you to be put in touch with professionals trained in the difficulties encountered by the practice of excessive gambling. Do not hesitate to call whether you are concerned directly or indirectly.

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