Background of online poker in France
Although French history can tell us that France is a friendly-gambling country (it was in France that the Queen of the deck replaced the Nobleman in the 1500s, and Blaise Pascal invented the roulette wheel over 400 years ago), the reality has been very different for online poker players. The PMU (Pari Mutuel Urbain) and FDJ (Française des Jeux) are in charge of horse racing, and betting games such as lotteries and almost 200 poker venues are located within the country.
Online regulation is very strict, and it mentions what games are specifically allowed:
- Sports Betting;
- Horse racing;
- Online poker (both cash games and tournaments):
- NL, FL, and PL Hold'em;
Being the inventor of the roulette isn't a pass for playing roulette online, which is not legal in France.
- 1998: Slots became legal in France after being banned for a long time;
- 1998: The minimum age for gambling was lowered from 21 to 18;
- 2010: Online gambling was legalized in France;
- 2018: France joins the European shared liquidity with Spain.
The 2010 French Gambling Act created ARJEL (Autorité de régulation des Jeux en ligne, or Regulatory authority for online games), which is the entity in charge of giving licenses to operators and enforce French gambling law. Permits are only issued to companies based in France.
Best French poker players
French poker players have won over $500MUSD on the live circuit, including 18 WSOP gold bracelets, being Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Benjamin Pollak and David Benyamine the most famous one. Speaking of online poker, Davy "PamellaRose" Fradet, "ElkY," "plzShove" and "Dont_Play_JJ" are the best ones according to the PocketFives rankings which mention over $70M in online profits.
French online poker taxes
At first sight, online gambling regulation in France is benevolent with players, as is stated that the players should pay no taxes, but operators have a rate of 34%. Of course, poker rooms are not meant to lose money, so they passed a share of the tax rate to the players; therefore cash games have a 7% rake and tournaments an 11%, higher than the usual 5% and 10% (5% in some tournament formats).
European shared liquidity
The French regulation states that players are segregated from the rest of the world, and they are only allowed to play at licensed poker rooms which are not that much (partypoker, PokerStars, Winamax, Unibet, and iPoker). The market leaders like PokerStars offers rakeback of 3% top. Then the offshore poker market gets to the rescue becoming a fantastic opportunity for French regs.
Best non-French online poker rooms for French poker players
Joining private reservations like Asian, Israeli, LatAm, Indian, among others is a real and great option for French players looking for soft action at all stakes. Alternative poker networks are the usual response to strongly regulated markets, as we stated before: online poker is a multi-millionaire business, no one is letting it go easily, especially taking into account that poker is a skill-based game and not a game of chance. Our team will help you to pick the safest and softest online poker rooms fitting your needs like stake and format.
|Online poker rooms||Low-stakes||Mid-stakes||High-stakes||MTT||Spin&Go|
|Asian poker rooms (PokerMaster, PPPoker, FirePoker)||X||X||X|
|Red Argentina de Poker||X||X||X|
|Israeli poker rooms (GoldPokerPro, Royal Diamond, PurePlay)||X||X|
|Cryptopoker rooms (Nitrogen Sports, Crypto poker club)||X||X|
|Italian poker rooms||X||X|
|Indian poker rooms||X||X|
Deposit and withdrawal methods for French players on alternative poker networks
To make things easier, Worldpokerdeals process payments to French players using legal and popular e-wallets like Skrill, ecoPayz, Neteller, and Bitcoin.
French poker players have one of two options: staying in French poker rooms, playing with very low rakeback and against same players over and over, or join alternative poker networks with money guarantees, very soft players and great rakeback. We know from experience that it isn't always easy to migrate to other rooms, but once you tested, we guarantee these rooms will remain as a great alternative to play.
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