Gaming Clubs, a modern version of Gaming Circles, are the delight of all fans of Poker and Banking Games in Paris. And while the French capital has a total of eight clubs today, there are no casinos, to the dismay of Parisian lovers of roulette and slot machines. The reason? Laws that those under 100 will not be aware of, the most recent dating from 1919, making Paris an exception among the major European capitals.
1806 - First Official RegulationS
It was under Napoleon that the legalization of the first casinos and their regulations appeared. At that time, the Emperor wanted gaming establishments to be located far from cities, for reasons of morality. The objective was to protect the destitute at a time when poverty and misery were greater and more stark than today.
1919 - casinos IN Paris ? IT'S no !
After the first casinos were opened in seaside, thermal, and health resorts with the aim of developing tourism, approved by voters on June 15, 1907, Parisian gaming enthusiasts at the time were impatiently waiting to be able to indulge in their favorite games. (Note that the opening of such establishments near spa resorts is limited to the summer season, a period popular among wealthy foreigners come for a treatment.) But no! In 1919, a law was promulgated, prohibiting betting games within 100 km (62 miles) of Paris.
The spa town of Enghien-les-Bains, located 25 km (16 miles) from our beautiful capital, obtained an exemption in 1931, but without the game of boule. To this day, it remains the only exception and the only casino in the Greater Paris region.
TODAY - IN FRANCE
There are nearly 200 establishments in France today, a European record. Among them are the Barrière casinos, the Partouche casinos and the Joa casinos, representing the largest groups of French casino operators.
In Paris, the eight Game Clubs (Club Pierre Charron, Paris Élysée Club, Club Barrière 104, Club Joa, Club Circus, Club Montmartre, Imperial Club and Club Berri) allow you to indulge in Poker and traditional games: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Poker 21 (or Blackjack Parisian Style), Punto Banco, Ultimate Poker, 3-Card Poker, and Stud Poker.
To play roulette and slot machines, which are not allowed in Gaming Clubs in Paris, you have no other choice but to go to a casino.
Invented in San Francisco in 1887 by Charles Frey, the slot machine was a huge success in the 1920s. At the time, it consisted of three reels, with five different symbols (a heart, a spade, a diamond, a bell and a horseshoe). Authorized only in 1986 in France, slot machines had to wait until 1992 to infiltrate all of the country's casinos.
The origins of roulette are a bit more vague. We know that it appeared in the middle of the 17th century. Several theories come up regularly. According to the most frequent, it was the invention of French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, who was influenced by the games of Italian Biribi and English Roly-Poly of the time.
In 1860, when gambling was legalized in Monte-Carlo, roulette was a huge success, first in Europe and then in the United States.
THE history of Casinos around the world
Originally, in the 17th century, a “casino” was a small house, in northern Italy, located in areas far from the cities. In the middle of nowhere, they were the perfect places to live out your days peacefully, far from a changing world. It was in Venice, from this time, that the name “ridotto”, which can translate to “nook”, was applied to the dedicated space in a house where one plays board games, even gambling: a games room.
Badly transformed popularly, “a ridotto” became “a redoubt” from the 18th century. Such rooms, with many table games, multiplied throughout Italy, Austria, Germany, and England.
From 1780, the term “casino” would be used on a European scale, then worldwide, to designate such gaming rooms, thanks to the British who saw Italy as a fashionable travel destination at that time.
The term “gaming house” took on new meaning in French in 1850, understood in the sense of “gentlemen’s club”, sometimes even “pleasure house”.
The flourishing of such gaming establishments would extend throughout Europe and the United States, whose saloons will be the first gambling halls, then in Asia, and they would gradually become casinos as we know them today, each with their own national regulations.
World capital of casinos, Las Vegas and its flagship establishments, such as the Rio (setting of the famous WSOP), the Bellagio, the Mirage, the Wynn, and many more, are now a mecca for all fans of gaming. Atlantic City is also a popular destination in the United States. For the past ten years or so, Macao (the Las Vegas of Asia) has become a flagship destination not to be missed, thanks to its games and tables with the highest limits in the world. To the point of dethroning Las Vegas? Time will tell.
casino GameS :
European Games American Games
English Roulette American Roulette
European Roulette Craps
(Or French roulette) Black Jack
Jeu de la boule Texas Hold'em
Trente et quarante Ultimate Poker
Le jeu du 23` Caribbean Stud Poker
Three Cards Poker
Punto Banco Big Six Wheel
Baccarat on two tables Let it Ride
(ou Banque à tout va) Pai Gow poker
(Or no-limit Baccarat)
Chemin de fer
1990-2020 - THIRTY YEARS OF ONLINE GAMBLING
Since the arrival of the Internet in the early 90s, many virtual casinos offering online gambling have emerged. The new El Dorado and a previously unregulated market, the French Act of May 12, 2010, on the Liberalization and Regulation of Online Gambling created the Online Gaming Regulatory Authority (ARJEL), in order to oversee and protect French players, and to combat illegal gambling offerings, and fraud.
Since then, many online poker sites (Winamax, PokerStars), and sports and horse-racing betting sites (PMU, Unibet, Betclic, Parions Sport) have emerged in France. Like physical casinos in Paris, online casinos are totally absent in France. What if that was the next step ?
AND NOW ?
Although the absence of casinos in Paris is an astonishing feature, the opening of eight gaming clubs in less than two years, and the opening of the online market allowing French, Spanish and Portuguese players to play together, suggests that the gambling world, as a whole, has a bright future in France.
As for those who dream of a casino in Paris, the laws concerning Gaming Circles in Paris, dating back to 1901, were modernized and adapted to the market in 2018, to become Gaming Clubs: why couldn’t it be the same one day for casinos ?