France Online Gambling Continues to Underwhelm in Q3Published November 13, 2015 by Lee R
Online poker is the biggest thorn according to figures released by ARJEL.
The seeming potential of the French online market remains a conundrum.
In the third quarter of 2015, the only visible growth came in the area of sports betting.
France gaming regulator, l’Autorité de regulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) announced that overall online gambling revenues for the three months ending Sept. 30 saw a slight 0.3% dip year-on-year to €176.1m.
The growth in sports betting took place at a clip of 3% to €62m with the ranks of active sports bettors up 5% to a total of 165k. Horse betting revenue also increased slightly, up 5% to €60.1m, while race betting turnover remained flat at €238m.
Online poker has proven to be an ongoing albatross, with online revenues this time out falling 5% to €54m. A bump in poker stakes to 21% turns out to be a pink elephant as well, offset by the 20% fall in cash game stakes.
Kinks in the System
Regulated online gambling was launched in France five years ago. In a country preferring online casinos such as Euro Fortune Casino, Supreme Play Casino and Play2Win Casino, the regulation regime has come under fire for a high rate of taxation, limited wagering options and ring-fenced online poker.
ARJEP President Charles Coppolani maintains that the state’s goals had still been “partially achieved even if everything didn’t go exactly as planned.”
Coppolani did admit that France's regulated market had not turned out to be as competitive as hoped, but insisted that things were not as bleak as they seemed due to the fact that “many” of the state’s 17 licensed online operators had still individually “achieved balance or are about to achieve it.”
Despite these rationales, SRJEL called for a dramatic overhaul in June, and in his own Q3 statement, Coppolani did admit that poker itself was in “big trouble” while committing to new poker variants before the end of 2015. He also restated the French goal of pushing for liquidity sharing deals with other European Union regulated markets in 2016.