why are most casinos located in spas?
In France – as well as in other European countries – land-based casinos are almost always located in spas. But how can you explain that they are located in Balaruc-les-Bains, Saint-Amand-les-Eaux or Ax-les-Thermes? Here is a little chronicle that teaches you the history of gambling in France, as well as some of the laws that are currently in force in France concerning casinos.
In France, the link between land-based casino and spa
In the United States, they have Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In France, we have Vals-les-Bains, Challes-les-Eaux and Larmor-Plage. But why are the French land-based casinos almost always located in a seaside resort or thermal spa ?
To find the answer to this question, we must refer to the history of France. Indeed, before the 19th century, gambling was illegal in France. At that time, gambling was practiced in a clandestine manner, in the greatest of secrecy. When Napoleon came to power, he decided to tax gambling in order to fill the state coffers.
In 1806, Napoleon thus authorizes the opening of the first legal land-based casinosbut with one condition: they had to be built in seaside resorts or spas. For Bonaparte, the advantage is double. Firstly, there are not thousands of such resorts in France, which makes them easily controllable. Secondly, since the seaside and spa resorts are mainly frequented by wealthy people, the money spent in casinos is substantial, and the tax levied is even more so!
Why are there casinos in big cities like Bordeaux or Lille?
In spite of everything, some big cities do have their own casino. But why? Are the big cities an exception? In truth, if Dunkirk, Lille or Toulouse have a casino, it is simply because the law has since been extended.
Indeed, from now on, any tourist city with more than 500 000 inhabitants can have a land casino, provided that it is financed to at least 40% by the municipality. This rule makes it possible to develop culture and lyrical art, part of the casinos’ income being reinvested in this direction.
Casinos have been forbidden in Paris since 1920, but not gambling clubs
Let’s remember that since 1920, no land-based casino is allowed in Paris. This is also the case for games such as slot machines and roulette. However, in recent years, “gambling clubs” have been accepted in the French capital. These allow you to play mostly poker, but also Baccarat and Punto Banco.