The Particular Features Of Gambling Licensing In France

Currently, the process of licensing is handled by the Ministry of Justice. So far in France there are about 160 operating casinos with the biggest one of Lyon Vert Casino, housing about 400 slot machines, dozens of roulette, poker and blackjack tables.

The control over gambling is assigned to by special police; its sphere of competence touches all the aspects associated with the licensing, winnings accounting, ludomania issues, illegal business conducting and etc.


The very licensing process is supervised by a member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – High Commission on Gambling. It consists of 15 officers and deputies, whose names are not disclosed, but the chairman did not make any public statements. On average, the Commission considers up to 5 license applications per month; preliminary investigations are not conducted.

The grounds for the decision are the consent of the local authorities, the data on the origin of investments, financial plans, staff qualifications, development plans, the reputation of competitors, as well as economic and moral expediency. The rationale should be given by the head of the municipality, and the benefit for the budget is supposed to be not the top priority. Among the obligations of the future casino an operator typically includes funding for projects in the sphere of culture and entertainment.

The opinion of the Committee is only advisory in nature and is typically not motivated. The final decision is made by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

The local authorities have a special role: in collaboration with the owners of the business, they may indicate its limitations. As a rule, it is necessary to obtain the consent to present the program of activities outside the scope of the game: for example, to open a hotel, regularly hold cultural events, etc. Given the difficulty of obtaining the consent of the Commission, local authorities choose only the most potentially attractive projects.

If approved, the agreement is returned to the municipality, which gets another, in fact, the last chance to change the decision.

Running a casino

Casino schedule and rules are determined by law as well as the agreement with the municipality. The entire staff is registered in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The general rules are quite common: gambling personnel, individuals under 18 years and those wearing uniforms are not allowed in. Europol is entitled to replenish the list with new categories and names.

For gambling applies a progressive tax scale: the base equals 75% of gross income. In addition to contributions to the state budget, local taxes (15%) and fixed charges are obligatory. According to a major gambling experts at, a Swedish website specialized in gambling reviews and numbers, in 2006, the operators of gambling generated around €20.9 billion of revenue, €6 billion approximately went to the state budget.

For the prevention of ludomania established an Advisory Committee promoting safe and responsible gaming. In 2010, another law on the liberalization of the market of online games was adopted.

Online games Regulatory Authority issued 17 licenses to 11 companies, and thus ended the state monopoly, introduced back in 1539 (we are talking about online poker, sports betting and horse racing.