France is located in central Europe. It borders Andorra and Spain to the south-west, the Bay of Biscay to the west, the English Channel to the north, Belgium and Luxembourg to the north-east, Germany to the east, Switzerland and Italy to the south-east and the Balearic Sea to the south.
Every type of land-based gambling is legal in France, and this is part of why they have been so open about regulating every type of online gambling as well. While they initially did now allow casino-style gambling online, they changed this after a few years of seeing their numbers not reach the levels that they expected in terms of revenue.
The main problem with online gambling in France is that it's taxed at a particularly high rate. In poker in particular, players staged massive sit-outs at the tables of segregated sites (French players aren't allowed to play with foreigners on regulated sites), which got the attention of officials and led to the changing of the tax and rake structure of the games. Other taxes have made it a less-than-ideal jurisdiction for operators.
Licensing is extremely valuable in France because of the high level of priority that they put on making sure that the sites that become licensed are legitimate. One thing about licensing that puts licensed sites at a disadvantage is that player pools aren't allowed to be shared with foreign sites. This has hurt poker sites in particular because a larger player pool is necessary to keep a healthy ecosystem of players, and without that, the games suffer overall. When you combine this with the fact that there are no laws against the playing at unlicensed sites for the players, it creates a system of incentives that are not in favor of operators.
Because licensing is taken so seriously and with such a high level of restriction, there are high levels of player protections for online gambling in France. There's a lot of concern about making sure that people who exhibit problem gambling tendencies are given opportunities to get help, and there are easy-to-use methods for following up with complaints or inquiries against licensed sites. Though it's legal for players to play with unlicensed sites, those protections do not extend to those sites.
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