GAMBLING

France Eyes New Casinos Following Legislative Approval

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Posted on: December 7, 2023, 08:29h. 

Last updated on: December 9, 2023, 03:12h.

France currently has 196 mainland casinos and seven in its overseas territories. The approval by the National Assembly of a bill covering casinos in “equestrian towns” could see the mainland field grow by at least two.

Jockeys riding horses at the Haras National de Pompadour stud farm in France
Jockeys riding horses at the Haras National de Pompadour stud farm in France. Arnac-Pompadour, the city where the center is located, could host a casino within two years. (Image:

The approval, which the National Assembly gave on December 5, is designed to help cities built around the horse racing industry. It will allow them to foster their industries through gambling and generate direct revenue. The bill outlines the criteria for cities to qualify for a casino.

Through it, two more casinos may be authorized, one in the Ardennes and the other in Meurthe-et-Moselle. Among the approved beneficiaries of this legislation is Arnac-Pompadour, located in Corrèze, home of the Haras National de Pompadour stud farm.

Mayor Alain Tisseuil told media outlet France 3 that the establishment of the casino in the city would offer notable employment opportunities, offering between 30 to 40 job positions.

Saddling Up the Casino Ecosystem

Tisseuil projects the city’s direct share of the casino’s total earnings, ranging from 10% -15 % of the gross revenue, which will significantly contribute to the city’s overall income. The mayor further disclosed that he plans on launching a tender on Thursday and anticipates the completion of the casino within two years.

Saumur, nestled in the Maine-et-Loire region, is the other city that meets the prerequisites. The city hosts the national riding school, the Cadre Noir, and the French Horse and Equestrian Institute.

Jackie Goulet, the mayor of Saumur, also supports the measure. He told media outlet Ouest France that it could become the city’s heart.

Both mayors believe that the casino’s introduction will bring about significant but wildly varied annual tax income. Tisseuil expects €400,000 (US$431,520) a year, while Goulet forecasts €1.2 million (US$1.29 million).

Catherine Deroche, a federal legislator from Maine-et-Loire, advocated for the bill’s inception within the Senate. The chamber had approved the bill this past May.

French Casinos Doing Well

The National Gaming Authority (ANJ, for its French acronym) recently updated the country’s land-based casino health. It said French casinos managed to generate a turnover of €2.48 billion (US$2.67 billion) last year. This marks a growth rate of 138% per annum compared to pre-COVID-19.

Famous (and more accessible) cities like Paris and Cannes boast iconic casinos, attracting locals and international visitors. However, the industry faces challenges from online gambling alternatives and occasional debates over regulatory adjustments.

France has no legal online gaming segment, although this could change next year. Despite this, the allure of traditional casino gaming, coupled with a rich cultural and architectural experience, has allowed the land-based gaming market to flourish.

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