Betting in France

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France is extremely similar to the UK when it comes to the gambling industry, with all forms of betting fully legal and liberalised.

There are also many comparisons drawn between France and the UK in terms of the types of betting firms available and the gambling preferences of the public.

Many people around the world are familiar with the Pari-Mutuel (PMU) which is largely centred on the popular sport of horse racing, although it is no longer its sole domain after expanding to other sports and events.

The PMU monopolises a large part of the French horse racing gambling industry and works similarly to the British Tote. For prestigious horse racing meetings in France such as October’s Arc De Triomphe festival at Longchamp, PMU prices are also available to people from other countries who are wagering on the action.

Often, as the PMU works akin to a ‘pool’ of bets, non-French horses tend to be available at better odds on the PMU as opposed to respective industry prices.

Naturally, France’s reputation as one of the major horse racing nations in the world makes the sport a key driver of the French betting industry.

This is also the case with football, which accounts for a large percentage of all bets placed within the country during the season or through the course of continental or international tournaments.

The 1998 World Cup held in France indeed influenced the French betting industry heavily and also awakened French people to the realms of internet betting as new laws surrounding online gambling came into effect shortly beforehand. An increase in the popularity of football betting was also bolstered by France’s success at the tournament.

For many years, internet sportsbooks were deemed illegal in France and all online betting was controlled and monopolised through the aforementioned PMU.

As foreign sportsbooks came to prominence, internet betting laws in France were relaxed and the public can now freely place bets with a number of established and regulated online companies. Such free and liberal laws inevitably bring a wealth of benefits to France and the French people.

A fully regulated, prospering online betting industry gives the country’s economy a continuous boost, something which is unlikely to change due to France’s sizeable population and healthy gambling culture.

Fully regulated domestic sportsbooks also open up many diverse betting avenues for the French public including local sports and events.

Not least, there is also a great deal of choice for the backer in terms of prices offered by various firms, creating strong business rivalry between competitors.

Despite such free gambling reign, many negative social repercussions often associated with gambling have not come to prominence in France and the country’s liberal betting attitude and laws generally appears to have affected all parties positively.

Naturally, France’s expanding gambling industry links in tandem with the mass amounts of sport which take place both domestically and internationally on a day to day basis, making gambling amongst the French, like sport, a regular, enjoyable aspect of living and entertainment.