Report No. 276
6.40 The Code de la sécuritéintérieure (hereinafter CSI) (the domestic security code) section 320-1166 and Law No. 2010-476 of 12 May 2010167 regulate gambling and betting activities in France. The CSI is based on the principle that games of chance, betting, lotteries, gambling and casinos are prohibited unless the operator can benefit from an exception to the law, or has obtained an authorisation and approval from the French Administration.
Betting is illegal in France with the exception of horse-racing, which is available through the PariMutuelUrbain (PMU)168 and operators approved by Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (hereinafter, ARJEL a regulatory authority for online activities) for horse racing and sports betting online169. Poker and other games are allowed in offline casinos and all online activities are regulated by ARJEL licensed operators. Lotteries, on the other hand, are regulated by the Française des Jeux (FDJ) in France.
6.41 Profits from such activities have contributed to financing sports, which helped football to become the nation's number one sport. As the benefits of regulated gambling were realised, the government reduced the restriction on these activities. It was only in 2001, that the FDJ and the PMU received permission to offer their services online.
6.42 All networks included, the gambling market in France generated a Gross Gaming Revenue of € 9.75 billion in 2016 (against € 9.53 billion in 2015). The amount of tax revenue collected on the online gambling activity (including VAT), amounted to € 429 million for the year 2016170.