TOP 10 Best Betting Sites in France

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in France?

Find out information which is top three bookies in France from our table below. These are the most reputable and trustworthy betting sites. Also, they have different sports and good betting services.

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Betting in France is legal, and enjoys relative popularity throughout the nation. Although the laws surrounding gambling are relatively constricting, the French still enjoy the freedom to engage in almost all forms of the pastime. There was historically a state monopoly on operators, but a recent ruling from the EU has demanded that the market be opened up to international vendors, providing bettors with more opportunities.

Interesting Facts about Betting in France

  • Roulette, a popular betting game, was invented in France in the 18th century
  • The 52-deck playing cards that used today also created in France
  • The legal age for gambling is 18
  • Approximately 45% of French people gamble
  • The most popular forms of gambling in France are sports betting and lotteries
  • The gambling industry generates over USD 35 billion per year

Gambling Legislation and Laws

Currently, gambling is legal in France, both online and in brick and mortar establishments. Offline, the French can partake in sports bets, horse racing, casino games, and poker.

Much like several other European countries, France tried to limit online gambling operators to national businesses and sites only – no foreign operators. The European Union found this to be in non-compliance with their regulations and demanded that the French government relinquish its monopoly on the gambling scene. In 2009, they opened their market to international investors. However, this was a limited move that taxed companies an excessive amount.

In 2010, France passed the French Gambling Act, which legalized all online sports betting, horse betting and poker, on the belief that these forms of gambling require some level of skill. Other types of gambling, such as slots, were not legalized, because they were considered too addictive. Today, betting online on games of pure chance is still regarded as illegal.

Top Online Betting Sites in France

Although it is not technically legal, nothing is stopping French punters from accessing international sites that not licensed within France. Some excellent websites accept registrations from France, and here are the most popular options:

   Bwin advertises themselves as the number one site for gambling. Although they offer casino games for punters, their crowning glory is their sporting section. With over 30,000 bets each day, with 90 different sports on offer; this vast range allows the company to provide their services to a wide demographic, no matter what their niche interests are. They offer their site in French, a convenient option for those who wish to bet in their native language. This site is licensed in Gibraltar, as well as by the UK Gaming Commission, providing punters with some indication that this is a reputable site.

William Hill
   William Hill originated as a brick and mortar casino in 1934 in the UK and has since developed into one of the largest online betting sites in the world, currently valued at over £4 billion. Another site that offers both sports betting and casino betting, their strength seems to lie within their casino options for customers. Unfortunately, the site not yet provided in French, however, French users can play in English, or some other languages if they would prefer.

Another one of the largest sites in the world, Unibet boasts over 11 million users, registered from over 100 different countries. They market themselves as “By players, for players,” and aim to make their site as user-friendly as possible. They have won awards for their poker services, as well as their sports betting. Another bonus to this site is that they also offer their services in French, making it even more convenient for users.

Competition between Operators

Gambling in France generally operates underneath a monopoly held by the government, both online and offline. Different organizations are responsible for various forms of gambling, both licensing and regulating it. They have controlled this monopoly for several years, and there is nothing to indicate that it is loosening up any time soon.

Online, the government tried to maintain a similar monopoly. However, this was found to be unjust by the EU. As a result, in 2009, they began to offer licensed to international companies. However, there are a number of these companies that have withdrawn themselves from the French market, due to unusually high taxes set by the government. Due to this reduction in international (legal) investment, the market is once again being dominated by the government monopoly.

However, one should not discount the international online market that is technically illegal. Some French punters are turning to unlicensed international sites to bet, an issue that continues to grow and something that the French government has no control over.

Bonuses from French Bookmakers

The French have a number of bonuses and promotions available to them on betting sites. Almost all sites offer some form of a welcome bonus, which is usually some money back provide when a customer registers a new account and makes a first deposit or free spins. Each site is slightly different from their welcome bonus, and the terms and conditions for how to use the welcome bonus should be read thoroughly to understand what required to claim the promotion.

There are also many different bonuses for existing customers to encourage ongoing playing. These are often more diverse than the welcome bonuses and are frequently changing. Customers should check the bonus page of the betting site every so often to ensure that they are not missing out on any opportunities. Again, users should be careful to read the terms and conditions to avoid falling into any traps that require bonus money to be turned over a certain amount of times within a period before it can withdraw.


Betting Features and Options in French Bookmakers

French bookmakers offer many different options for players to make the most out of their experience. These include:

If a punter feels as though they have placed a losing bet, they have an opportunity to withdraw their funds early, before the end of the event. They receive winnings based on the odds of the event at the time of the cash-out, regardless of the outcome. Some sites will allow punters to cash out, leaving some of their bet in partially, and other sites also offer automatic cash out, when odds reach a certain point.

Bet builder
A bet builder is known by different names on different sites but still offers the same premise. Users can combine some different bets, with improved odds. If all of the bets are successful, the punter receives winnings higher than those from placing many separate bets. However if just one of the bets loses, the whole bet builder loses. Sites may offer pre-made bet builders, or allow bettors the freedom to choose what bets they want to combine, and how many.

Live streaming
Live streaming will enable punters to watch the event that they have bet on in real-time. It is often especially useful for events that are not televised or would not be seen by the bettor otherwise. Bettors usually need to bet at least €1 to be able to access the live streaming services, but this is a reasonable barrier put in place by the operators to avoid abuse of the system.

Live betting
Live betting is the opportunity for punters to continue to place bets after an event has started, and work with the odds that might change with the gameplay, instead of the static odds at the beginning of an event. This feature often increases the odds of the player, and allows them to bet based on the event itself, as opposed to analytics.

Available Payment Methods

Betting sites always offer a range of payment methods, so that all users can find an option that is convenient for them. The most common forms of payment on all sites are Visa and Mastercard (both credit and debit cards are accepted), Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, and bank transfer. Many sites will also offer far more options, but those are the most common and most popular ones. Punters should know that when they are attempting to withdraw money, most sites will only accept withdrawals from the same way that it was deposited (for example if money was deposited using Skrill, it must be withdrawn using Skrill too).

Almost all methods for deposit and withdrawal are free and instantaneous. The only exception can often be bank transfers, which charge a fee and can take up to 3 or 5 business days. Generally, the minimum that can be deposited or withdrawn is €1, and the maximum is usually around €99,000. Punters should always check the specifics of the site they have signed up to, before they make any deposits or withdrawals, to be sure.

France has two accepted forms of currency – the Franc (FRF), and the Euro (EUR). Euros are more commonly accepted in France, as well as on betting sites. Players who deposit and play in euros will often find that this is acceptable on national websites as well as international sites. It means that punters do not have to use currency converters on the site, which often charge large hidden fees.

Mobile Betting in France

Mobile betting in France is becoming increasingly popular, and many companies work hard to accommodate this shift in gaming. Mobile betting sites are available for all major international companies that accept registrations from the French population. Apps are generally free to download, for both Apple and Android devices.

With mobile betting, customers experience everything they can get on the full website, just a more convenient interface that can use wherever, and whenever. Alternatively, many online betting sites offer a mobile version of their website, that does not require downloading, but is easier to use on a smaller-screen device.

Online Casinos

Online casinos are legal in France, however not every form of casino games are. Games such as roulette and slot machines. It is because the French government believes these kinds of games, also known as games that rely solely on chance and no form of skill, to be more addictive than others. As a result, for the health and safety of the population, they are banned from online casinos.

If punters are unhappy with their choices from government-regulated sites, they can always look internationally for greater variety and the opportunity to play games like slots that banned in France.

Leading Sports for Betting in France

  • Football
    Football is the most popular sport in the world, and the French are not immune to its pull. They love to bet on the sport, in both local games as well as larger international tournaments. France has participated in the FIFA World Cup since its inception and has won the competition many times, most recently in 2018. Due to the international popularity of the sport and the excellent ability of French teams, there are always many games to bet on, through both national and international betting sites.
  • Tennis
    France hosts one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world – the French Open. As a result of this international interest in the game, the French themselves adopt this excitement and sports betting always sees sharp increase inactivity. Tennis is globally famous, and as a result, there are still chances to bet on local as well as international championships.
  • Baseball
    Although baseball might not be a popular sport to play in France, this lack of interest is made up for by the number of bets the sport receives. Known as one of the most popular sports in America, it seems as though the French cannot get enough of the Major League Baseball, the most popular tournament for the sport. Although coverage can sometimes be limited in French betting sites, international sites more than makeup for this.
  • Ice Hockey
    Winter sports hold an essential place in French sports betting, due in part to the fact that the terrain and climate of the country give people great opportunities to learn and love sports. Ice hockey can be practised in winter, and love of the sport translates to a love of betting on it. Although they are not known as one of the world leaders in ice hockey, French betting sites will still offer numerous opportunities to bet on local games, and larger betting sites always cover international games.
  • Rugby
    Rugby is another sport that the French enjoy and excel. They have a long history of playing well at the Rugby World Cup, as well as the Six Nations Championship. As well as betting on international games, the national league always offers bettors excitement, and the opportunity to back a local team.

The Profile of a French Bettor

French bettors generally seem to follow the same trends that can see in betting elsewhere in Europe and the world. The majority of people who engage in betting activities are male (approximately 80%). Betting sees more popularity in a younger audience, with punters likely to be under the age of 35. French bettors are increasingly turning to online betting as opposed to betting in physical venues, although these are still the most popular method of betting. French Bettors are also more likely to engage in sports betting, compared to any other form of legal gambling.


Is online gambling legal in France?

Yes, online gambling is legal in France. The government has issued some licensed to local as well as international operators so that French punters have freedom of choice when it comes to choosing where to bet. The only forms of online gambling that are not legal in France are games of chance, which include many different casino games, such as roulette and slots.

Are there any taxes for French players on their winnings?

Yes, French players are taxed on their winnings if they are playing on a licensed site. If a player wins more than €1,500 must pay 12% tax. Any winnings that are less than this are not taxed.

How to choose the best online betting website in France?

There are many factors that must be considered when trying to find the best online betting website in France, and many of them come down to personal preference and choice. Everyone who wishes to bet online should look for a site that is safe and secure. All sites that are licensed to operate in France are reputable and should have robust safety policies to prevent misuse of personal data. If the site licensed in France, it also means that the punter is betting legally, and covered if anything goes wrong.

However, French-licensed sites are limited in what they can offer, especially in terms of casino games. Therefore punters may wish to look at international sites that are not licensed to provide their services in France, to find an operator that provides the betting they are looking. Although this is a somewhat grey area, as long as they check that the site is still safe, there should be no issues.

Are there any betting restrictions for French players?

Legally, French players cannot engage in online betting on games that are pure chance and require no skill – this relates to many casino games. Therefore for bettors who wish to abide by the law, they are restricted in terms of the betting they can play.

Despite this, there is a large international betting scene that does offer a full range of betting options. Therefore, punters do still have this choice if they choose to take it.

Are bet exchanges available for French bettors?

No, the French government has specifically banned bet exchanges, and many sites refuse to accept registrations from French punters as a result. While there may be some sites that will still illegally accept French players, caution should be taken to ensure the site is safe.

What is the best website to bet on sports?

While many different sites offer a great range of sports bets, one of the best sites for French punters is Bwin. They are known for their extensive sports coverage, their great bonuses and promotions, as well as their security policies. Bettors can use the site and relax, knowing they are using a reputable site.

Our Verdict

Betting online in France is heavily regulated, but still enables punters to enjoy gambling. Although the government held a monopoly for a long time, the relatively recent shift in-laws meant that international operators could apply for a license to serve the French. In reality, the high taxes demanded by the government resulted in a number of these licensed companies withdrawing their involvement. Only time will tell whether the monopoly will survive, or the government will be forced to revise their position on taxes.

Because the international illegal gambling scene is only growing, French bettors are looking overseas to safe sites that can offer them a more extensive betting experience, that includes all of the casino games that are illegal in France. The government cannot stop this interest, and they are only losing their market by enforcing their hard stance.

Despite all of this, betting in France is still a great experience. There is even a vast range of sports and horse betting options, and punters know that they are playing on safe sites.