No Rebound Necessary: France Adapts and Grows with Q1 Figures

Published April 30, 2021 by Lee R

No Rebound Necessary: France Adapts and Grows with Q1 Figures

Year-on-year growth in the iGaming sector in France is a needed encouraging sign.

The France government's lottery and gaming organisation has reported a year on year rise in stakes and and revenue for Q1 2021, indicating a strong rebound from Covid.

FDJ Figures Up

Government-owned lottery and gaming provider La Française des Jeux (FDJ) reports gains even in the face of ongoing restrictions on retail activity related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Revenue

The revenue figures for Q1 totaled €537.6m (£466.7m/$644.3m), a prominent 5.2% year-on-year jump from €511.2m in 2020.

GGR

Gross gaming revenue was similarly up 5.1% year-on-year to €525.9m, and revenue from other activities offered by FDJ climbed 10.7% from €10.6m to €11.8m.

Stakes Increase

The rise in revenue was attributed by FDJ to a stake increase totaling €4.6bn in total player spend, for a healthy year-on-year increase of 11.8% from Q1 2020's €4.11bn, with the operator more pandemic restrictions in this year 2021's Q1 than the same period in 2020.

Difference Across a Year

That's because France did not limit gaming until mid March of 2020, almost to the end of Q1, with sports betting limited slightly earlier in March 2020 with near complete shutdown of all sports events.

Q1 Challenges

FDJ indicates that in Q1 2021, some 10% of its points-of-sale were closed for the entire quarter, with players further restricted by a 7pm curfew and related travel restrictions.

Spending Up

Nonetheless, player spending was up, vaulting 46.1% to €1.1bn with traditional sports played across the entirety of the Q1 calendar.

Lottery Strong

Lottery remained the primary contributor to FDJ revenues, with stakes rising 3.8% to €3.46bn, or 10.0% when excluding exclusively bar-based Amigo games. The ongoing closures in France had a significant impact on Amigo, dropping stakes 50% for the quarter.

Stake Take Breakdown

As for other stakes, FDJ's draw-based game stakes rose 2.6% year-on-year to €1.3bn, and instant games stakes jumped 4.6% to €2.1bn.

Land versus Online

In terms of the key split, land-based operations remained the leading form of play, with stakes rising 5.7% to €4.0bn despite the restrictions. Nonetheless, digital (online) stakes jumped 64.7% to €1.4bn as more players than ever turned to online play, meaning that both land and online lay gained significantly in Q1 2021 in France.

Outlook

As FDJ chairwoman Stéphane Pallez indicates, the increase in stakes maintains a positive trend for the French market, and a significantly robust adaptation to ongoing environmental challenges.

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