France Market Turns in Quarterly Records Across the Board for Q4 2017

Published February 24, 2018 by Lee R

France Market Turns in Quarterly Records Across the Board for Q4 2017

While poker leads the verticals charge, even poor sister horse-racing has turned into a force in the new French market.

Q4 figures from 2017 indicate that the strong regulation model in France is gaining momentum.

ARJEL Figures

Figures released last Tuesday by French gaming regulator ARJEL revealed the big risers to be online sports betting the big riser, with turnover jumping almost a third in Q4 to nearly €704m; with online betting revenue billowing 82% to €163m for an all-time quarterly high.

Betting Contributes Heavily

Active bettors in Q4 rose a full 25% to 1.12m as active weekly bettors increased 43% to 393k. These disproportionate-seeming gains were attributed to a rash of upset results that bucked punting odds and behaviour.

All-Time Highs 

These Q4 gains ultimately translated to more all-time quarterly highs for France’s modern regulated market launched in 2010: online betting turnover increased 21% to €2.5b, while revenues gained 35% to €472m.

Telling Characteristics

With a lack of major sporting tournaments in 2017, a one-fifth decline in spending by French-licensed operators also contributed to net profits. At the same time, the market maintained its robustness with 10% gains in acquisition bonus expenses along with an 8% decline in retention bonuses.

Horse Racing Gains

The comeback story of the year in France has to be online horserace betting, which completed a turnaround initiated in Q2 by turning in a third consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth in Q4 2017. 

How Horseracing Has Come Back

This also marked the first annual improvement for the much-maligned vertical since 2012. The vertical long considered the albatross of the French market actually saw active player ranks rise 8% in 2017. At the same time, annual racing turnover rose 8% to €999m for a 4.7% revenue jump to €245m.

More Poker Players Too

Online poker showed gains in active player ranks in Q4, to the tune of 13% to 609k to raise the annual figure 8% to 1.05m. Cash games showed a slight drop of 0.3% to €930m in Q4, but the impressive peak in Q3 of the vertical’s growth figures stood tall to  preserve a 1% spending rise of €3.6b for the full year.


With France participating in new shared liquidity pools with Spain, and Portugal and Italy set to join soon, France is another of the new hot countries for operators, with strong market numbers confirming the appeal and sustainability of the new regulation model. 

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