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.
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” 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
If this is your first experience in sports betting, you will certainly be able to find ARJEL (recently renamed ANJ) approved platforms in France that match your profile. It is recommended to choose an ergonomic online betting platform in order to benefit from clearer navigation. This is also the best way to avoid making mistakes due to a poorly thought-out site.
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 choice of the online sports betting sites in France depends mainly on the sports on which one wishes to bet. If you are a gambler on classic sports, such as football, basketball, tennis, etc., you will have no problem finding a bookmaker in France that will meet your expectations. However, if you are a connoisseur of rarer sports like rowing or curling, you will probably have to dig a little deeper to find the right site.
The odds are the main point to take into account when you want to choose your sports betting site. Finding the right result of a sporting event allows you to win your sports bet. But, playing your money where the coast is the most interesting allows you to pocket even more money. To do this, simply use the odds comparators. However, since the new regulation of gambling in France, the ratings of bookmakers have smoothed and the differences are less and less important.
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:
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.
The platform must provide quality customer service, and provide the customer with the information necessary for an informed bet. It is true that most sports betting sites in France make available to their visitors (future bettors, therefore prospects) the means to get in touch with them either by telephone, by email, or by instant discussions. The best customer service should incorporate live chat at all times, so there’s always someone there to respond to your concerns instantly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Football, of course, is still very popular: in 2012 the stakes rose to 31 million euros, in 2016 to 198 million, in 2017 to 2.5 billion... Betting on the outcome of matches is exciting, even the players agree. The variables are extremely numerous and predicting an outcome is tricky. Either way, football is a majorly followed sport, and bettors tend to bet on the sports they know and follow. Watching the matches is already a moment of adrenaline, and adding a stake to it makes it even more exciting. Of the 2.5 billion euros in stakes recorded in total for online sports betting in 2017, 3.9 million were bet only for the month of October in football, on the OM-PSG match. Over the whole year, it represents 1.44 billion euros.
NBA betting is a real institution in the United States, but very successful in France as well. Basketball is a dynamic sport, very dramatized, the matches are beautiful, and we know this sport well. In one year, the French players bet more than 500 million euros on the NBA alone. Of course, France is known for having a good national basketball team and the league. Euroleague is quite popular to bet on as well.
Tennis has the advantage of offering, like football, very frequent competitions each year. Roland-Garros (the main tournament held in France), Wimbledon, or the Australian Open are very popular slams. The players are well known, publicized, it is easy to follow their progress, their strengths, and their weaknesses. Bettors can get attached to a particular player to get to know them inside out, plan their next matches, their ability to recover in the event of injury, their history, preferences on the pitch, etc.
Rugby has again become an extremely popular sport in France. It is the subject of a very large number of bets, but you have to be careful: it is as complex to know betting tricks on rugby as it is on football. It is particularly necessary to know the different teams well. But the payouts are fantastic and French people love it.
The years to come will be rich in sporting events, such as the Olympic Games. At the time of major competitions, bets are on the rise in very different sports. During the Roland-Garros or Wimbledon season, tennis is at the heart of discussions and at the forefront of betting. During the summer, the Tour de France collects the stakes. The Formula 1 Grand Prix also attracts a huge amount of online sports betting. This sport is interesting for players, since no driver, no matter how good, is immune to a breakdown. You have to know the drivers but also the teams, the circuits, etc. in order to earn good money.
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.
This is a single event bet. You bet on only one of the possible results and you win the bet if the expected result ever occurs. This is the basic bet we all know that can be placed on any sport and many newbies French players use it all the time.
Combination bets allow you to bet on several sporting events with a single bet. To win, all your predictions must come true, so you take more risks but the potential gains are higher: If successful, you win your bet times the different odds combined.
For example, if you combine the victories of Federer (at odds of 1.35) and Kuznetsova (at 2.55) in the French Roland Garros final and you bet €10 you can win the sum of 10 x (1.35 x 2.55 ) = €34.42. On the other hand, if one of the two loses, you will lose your bet.
You can combine as many matches as you want. A combination involving 2 matches is called a double. If you combine three matches we will call it a triple or treble. A combined bet on 4 matches is called a quadruple (or fourfold accumulator).
Please note: with some sports betting sites in France, the designations double, triple, and accumulator have a wider acceptance. If you make a double on a two-game selection or a triple on a three-game selection, you are well within the framework of a classic combination. On the other hand, if you make a double on a selection containing more than 2 matches, you will perform a combination of all possible doubles (3 times the bet on a selection of 3 matches, 6 times the bet on a selection of 4, etc.). Similarly, if you make a triple on a selection containing more than 3 matches, you will make a combination of all possible triples on the selection.
On some sporting events, sports betting sites in France offer handicap betting. It is about giving an advantage to a team or a player. This type of bet is often proposed in the case of a sporting event that is too unbalanced on paper in order to, on the one hand, inflate the odds of the favorite and, on the other hand, make it more possible to play on the underdog.
For example, a basketball game: Los Angeles Lakers (-10) Vs. Los Angeles Clippers (+10).
In this case, if you play the winning Lakers, they must win by more than 10 points for you to win your bet. On the other hand, if you play the Clippers, they can lose 95 – 102 (eg) and still win you some money. As French bettors love the NBA, this type of bet is quite commonly used.
X represents the number of results that must be good for you to win money playing in N games. If you play 3 games you can make a 2/3 (win if 2 of the 3 results are good). If you bet on 4 matches, you have the option of making a 2/4 (winning if 2 of the 4 results are good) or a 3/4 (winning bet if 3 of the results are good). If you bet on 5 matches you can make a 2/5, a 3/5 or a 4/5.
These are 4 bets on 3 picks in different matches. The Trixie consists of three doubles and one triple. It takes at least 2 good results to generate gain. A Trixie, therefore, makes it possible to generate large profits if you succeed in all 3 bets while ensuring gain if you make a mistake.
Please note: On 3 selected matches, if you bet €1 on the Trixie, €4 will be debited from your account!
These are 7 bets on 3 picks in different matches. The patent consists of a single for each choice as well as three doubles and a triple. All it takes is a good result to generate gain. This kind of bet is very useful for playing big odds such as draws, always well rated.
Please note: On 3 selected matches, if you bet €1 on the Patent, €7 will be debited from your account!
These are 11 bets on 4 picks in different matches. The Yankee consists of 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and a quadruple. It takes two good results to generate a win. The Yankee is often used for odds around 1.30, 1.40 because if the 4 selections pass you will generate big profits but if the odds are low you don’t really have the right to make mistakes so choose your matches well.
Please note: Out of 4 selected matches, if you bet €1 on the Yankee, €11 will be debited from your account!
These are 15 bets on 4 picks in different matches. The Lucky 15 consists of 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 quadruple. All it takes is a good result to generate again. If all the results are good, a 10% bonus is added to the total winnings.
Please note: generating gain does not necessarily mean generating a profit. It can happen to recover gain lower than the bet!
In general, system bets are incredibly popular with experienced French bettors as they provide good chances of winning the betting slip. The total winning amount is drastically lowered with system bets though, therefore it is important to bet frequently and invest some money into it.
Let’s start with the basics: during a PSG – Guingamp match, the odds are 1.2 for Paris, 4.90 for a draw, and 11 for the Bretons. This means that if you bet €10 on a Paris victory in regular time, you will recover 10 x 1.2 = €12. In short, you will win €2 (€12 minus your starting bet of €10). By putting the same amount on Guingamp, you can recover €110 and therefore win €100 (110 minus your initial bet of €10). This is normal, because, at the time of writing, PSG crushes L1 and Guingamp is the red lantern.
But if football was an exact science, it would be known… In the league, PSG scored 9 goals against the Bretons but lost in the Coupe de la Ligue against them. That’s the beauty of sport! The more likely an event is to occur, the lower the odds will be. Conversely, it is not uncommon to see odds of 150 if a goalkeeper scores a goal, for example.
The odds are updated before and even during the match. You can bet at any time. An exception: if a very strong team leads 3-0 with 5 minutes remaining, there is virtually no chance that the player’s opposite will come back. To avoid a bettor placing €1000 in an attempt to recover €10 (minimum odds are 1.01 and 1000 x 1.01 = €1010), bets will be suspended by the bookmaker.
Finally, it should be noted that if the match is canceled, the bet is refunded. If the match is canceled in the middle of the game, this is also the case unless the bet in question is over. For example, if you had bet that no goal would be scored and the referee whistled the end in the 56th minute with a score of 1-1, you have lost. If you bet on a win of either, you will be refunded. In the event of a multiple bet, the odds of the canceled match change to 1, which amounts to striking it off the shelves.
You will have noticed by now that in France, the decimal betting odds are used. There are other different types of odds, such as fractional or American odds, but they are rarely used around the world, especially in Europe.
In short, margins represent the difference between the proposed odds in the sports betting sites and the real probability of such income. In short, players in France are offered lower odds than realistically possible in order for sports betting sites in France to earn money. To calculate the margin taken by the bookmakers, it is necessary to calculate the inverse of the odds offered on the event in division 1 by the odds.
Imagine an event with 3 possible outcomes A, B, and C, and their odds A1, BX, and C2.
Margin: 1/A1 + 1/BX + 1/C2
Here is an example with these odds:
The margin is thus 1/1.70 + 1/3.60 + 1/4.80 = 1.05, so here is a rake of 5%.
“House always wins” – a phrase that we always hear and which in reality is false. Of course, the bookmakers are largely positive and generate large revenues, but it is due to the lack of knowledge of many bettors who, among other things, mismanage their bets. Naturally, margins ensure that sports betting sites in France are always receiving some revenue.
If you decide to open an account on online sports betting site in France, it is important to know the different specifics of the welcome bonuses and what they really consist of. There are different offers that can be granted to new players, listed below.
This is the most common welcome bonus offered by sports betting sites in France. Its principle is simple – after having made a deposit with the bookmaker, you will be able to place the first bet on the sporting event of your choice. The welcome bonus in the form of a refunded bet consists of the reimbursement in real money of your first bet if it proves to be a loser.
Quite identical to the cashback, the welcome bonus in the form of a free bet generally consists of a refund of your 1st losing bet at a bookmaker in the form of a free bet to be replayed on the sports betting site. The free bet generally depends on the amount played and is often subject to specific conditions.
The welcome bonus in the form of a deposit bonus usually consists of a sum offered by the sports betting sites in France after the first deposit is made on their site. The deposit bonus generally rewards a tidy sum to place its first bets at a bookmaker.
There are also other benefits offered by sports betting sites, some providers offer bonuses when you are referred by a friend using a promo code. Some bookmakers also offer time-limited welcome bonuses during important events.
Many sports betting bookmakers also offer horse racing betting and online poker. When registering on a betting site, it may be interesting to know if the bookmaker also offers a horse racing bonus and a poker bonus. Indeed, you may be interested in sports betting and poker and it is interesting to know if you can combine bonuses because some sports betting sites in France limit obtaining a single bonus.
Unlike Welcome bonuses which are for new players only, sports betting sites in France will offer various promotions to their existing and loyal bettors. Not all of them will do this though, and not all promotions are always great. Therefore it would be recommended to go for sports betting sites that offer constant and good promotions to their players.
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.
✅ Credit Cards – Today, all betting sites in France accept payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, etc.). This is the most traditional method of deposit which is still the most used by bettors.
The transfer process is relatively simple with credit cards and it’s the same principle for all operators. Cards offer good limits and no fees.
For some time now, there have been many other options for betting without a bank card. French online betting sites have added these new payment methods which are becoming more and more popular among bettors.
✅ Electronic Wallets – There are many on the market but the best known and most used in the world of sports betting remain PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill. These electronic wallets allow you to store money without the need for a bank account and to make payments online on sites that have this option (almost all). These are very good alternatives for accessing sports betting sites without having to use a bank card.
✅ Prepaid payment methods – This payment method is an additional possibility to deposit and bet money without a bank account or credit card. These prepaid payment methods allow you to make payments directly online. On sports betting sites, all you have to do is enter a multi-digit code to be able to play.
The 2 most reputable prepaid payment methods among bookmakers are Paysafecard and Ticket Premium. It is very easy to obtain these codes because they are available in many shops (at the tobacconist for example).
Below is a table of the most popular payment methods used on sports betting sites in France with their minimum and maximum withdrawal and deposit limits.
|Name||Minimum deposit||Maximum deposit||Min. withdrawal||Max. withdrawal|
|AstroPay||€1 – €10||€900 – €10,000||€2 – €2||€0 – €0|
|Neteller||€1 – €30||€2,000 – €37,500||€2 – €20||€37,500 – €37,500|
|Skrill||€1 – €15||€2,000 – €35,000||€2 – €10||€35,000 – €35,000|
|PayPal||€5 – €15||€8,000 – €8,000||€10 – €10||€0 – €0|
|VISA||€1 – €15||€2,000 – €35,000||€2 – €10||€5,000 – €40,000|
|MasterCard||€1 – €15||€2,000 – €35,000||€2 – €10||€5,000 – €40,000|
|Bank Transfer||€1 – €50||€50,000 – €50,000||€2 – €40||€5,000 – €50,000|
|ecoPayz||€1 – €20||€10,000 – €50,000||€2 – €10||€10,000 – €10,000|
Be careful as on some sports betting sites in France, you may be required to set game limits, as well as deposit limits (a certain amount not to be exceeded each week). This is additional security that has been imposed by the ARJEL (Regulatory Authority for Online Games).
Regarding withdrawals for your sports bets, the procedure is the same as when you deposit money. All you have to do is go to the “Withdrawals” section of your bookmaker, enter an amount to withdraw and validate.
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.