Internet poker was regulated in France in 2010. But the tax was set at a very high level and revenues have declined each year since 2011 (the first full year of operation), from EUR 314 million in 2011 to EUR 230 million in 2016. The market currently only has seven licensees for internet poker.

Two things that would boost the poker sector in France would be: switching the online poker tax rate from one based on stakes to one based on revenues and allowing the shared liquidity of players between key markets in Europe like Spain, France, UK and Italy.

The prospect of this happening moved a bit closer after two MPs, Régis Juanico and Jacques Myard, published a report containing measures to overhaul the tax and regulation of French gambling.

In general, the gaming tax in France is high and the low margin of poker means that it is not necessarily the most profitable game to offer, if a gaming venue has a choice of options. French casinos were permitted to offer Texas Hold’em poker in 2007 and it has proved relatively popular but slot machines still provide the vast majority of French casino revenues, partly because gaming machines are not permitted outside of casinos.

As well as proposals to change the poker tax mechanism, the report has suggestions for the future of betting on horseracing, amid concerns that sports betting is cannibalising betting on horseracing, and for speeding up the process of authorising new games for casinos.

The report can be found here: