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French Online Gambling Popular with Players, Not OperatorsPublished January 24, 2016 by Lee R
Despite substantial jumps in volume and revenues, French-licensed operators will still show a loss.
Though online betting volumes are safely, steadily and reliably rising, 2015 figures still show that France's online iGaming market remains precarious.
Online Betting Robust
According to national regulator ARJEL online betting revenues shown by regulated operators did not slow any for the year of 2015, even though there was no major single event to bet on such as the 2014 World Cup of the previous year.
Betting stakes place rose an extremely healthy 30% for 2015 to reach €1.44bn, with fourth quarter stakes placed reached a record high of €452m, the highest volume recorded since the French market became regulated in 2010.
The key to this rise was an 8% jump in weekly active punters to top 200,000, with the payout ration also increasingly by 1.8 points to reach 81.3%, which also undoubtedly attracted more French punting activity to a market where online casinos such as mybet Casino, Casino Blu and Casino Extra are popular with punters and players alike.
Gross Profits Up
Gross profits were also up—a 19% jump there pushed the 2015 total to €270m, a healthy jump from the 2014 figure of €227m.
The Root of the Problem
So with all these spikes in activity and volume, why isn't the market stronger? Well, factor in the 46% tax total in the French regulation system, and operators were left with a slight rise of 6% in net take. Out of this modest jump in actual take-home profits, operators still have to pay their operating costs, bringing into question how much actual profit operators in France are seeing.
For reference, licensed operators in the French market in 2014 recorded losses of €11m, and it is expected that final tabulations will show similar losses in 2015.
Too Much Tax
In effect, the substantial taxation system is at this point threatening the motivation of operators in the French market, with the French government at the end of the day dependent on operator participation in order to continue to reap taxation and licensing fee benefits. It certainly appears that a more sustainable regulation model in France will be necessary to continue to attract and maintain market participation.