France Boasts Sharp Increase in Q1 2017 Online Sports Betting Turnover

Published June 2, 2017 by Brett C

France Boasts Sharp Increase in Q1 2017 Online Sports Betting Turnover

The regulated online gambling market in France has posted a sharp increase of 23% (year on year) for the period ending March 31, 2017. Sports betting is up sharply among women, and poker posted a rare rise in revenues.

The regulated online gaming market in France recorded a significant year on year increase of 23%, valued at €633 million for the period ending March 31, 2017. Regulated online gambling in France has grown dramatically in recent years, notably in online sports betting. The French regulatory authority, ARJEL released the data to much surprise. Online poker also generated positive returns.

25% Increase in Registered Sports Bettors

In Q2 2016, online sports betting revenues amounted to €585 million, but the figures were bolstered by the Rio Olympic Games and the EURO 2016. Equally important were the increases over time in sports betting revenues. These figures increased by 16% – €94 million when compared to Q1 2016 figures. There are now some 341,000 registered punters in online sports betting, marking a significant uptick for the industry.

In terms of actual betting activity, basketball, football and tennis account for 89% of all bets placed. Football increased by 18% or €348 million, while basketball increased by 19%, or €81.6 million. There were also strong gains made by tennis betting activity which was up €129.5 million or 41%.

Poker Betting Activity Rising

Poker wagers blindsided pundits with a rare 3% increase in betting activity. This amounted to €64 million, a notable gain despite decreasing player numbers. Consider that stakes on cash games dropped 2%, and revenue declined 4%. However, the increasing entry fees for poker tournaments (up 1% to €506 million) was marked by overall revenue increases of €39 million or 7%. Poker bonuses attracted significant numbers of players into the fold, with an uptick of €16.5 million and promotional offers.

The rising interest in online betting activity in France is notable. A 10% increase (year on year) in gambling activity took place during Q1 2017. This amounted to 1.5 million people – setting another record in the country. The rise in sports betting among females was also notable. This metric increased by 40%, to 79,000 bettors, which outstrips the growth of male betting activity by 2. Sports betting trumps poker as the preferred online gambling pastime of French women.

Taxation Remains a Concern

According to the French regulatory authority, Arjel, ‘… Maintaining a fiscal arrangement that taxes operators on stakes when they pay out so much to their players in winnings along with a very restrictive licensed offering that doesn’t take into account the expectations and habits of the new generations, puts an increasingly heavy burden on the licensed market…’ The regulator has called for a revision of taxes on betting stakes.

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