Legislative Approval May Bring Two New Casinos to France

Sports Betting Insights: December 7, 2023, 08:29h.

French Horse Racing Casinos Legislation Update on December 7, 2023, 08:29h.

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 that are built around the horse racing industry. It will give them the opportunity to foster their industries through gambling and generate direct revenue.

Another section of the bill addresses the criteria for what makes a city qualify for a casino. Through it, two more casinos, one in the Ardennes department and the other in Meurthe-et-Moselle, may be authorized.

Saddling Up the Casino Ecosystem

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 will offer notable employment opportunities, offering between 30 to 40 job positions. Additionally, the city will reap substantial indirect financial gains from the presence of a casino.

Tisseuil projects that the city’s direct share of the casino’s total earnings, a percentage ranging from 10-15% of the gross revenue, will greatly contribute to the city’s overall revenue. The mayor further disclosed that he plans on launching a tender today 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, as well as the French Horse and Equestrian Institute.

Jackie Goulet, the mayor of Saumur, is supportive of the measure, as well. He told media outlet Ouest France that it could become the heart of the city.

Both mayors hold the belief that the introduction of the casino 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, took the lead in advocating 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 provided an update on the country’s land-based casino health. It said that 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.

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

France doesn’t have a 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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