Online gambling dropped slightly in the second quarter of 2020 in France's regulated markets. This was simply not the case for online poker, which saw its activity more than double year-on-year, as more and more players are getting into the game.
The Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France's gambling regulator released figures last Monday, which reported a combined generated revenue of €323 million, among licensed online gambling operators over the three months prior to June 30. This was a 6% decline from the same time in the previous year, but, it fell a very steep 26% from the first quarter of 2020.
One of the online gambling industries that felt the COVID-19 burn the most was online sports betting, as there were no sports being played, and such, no odds to offer. Betting revenue in the second quarter was down 56% to €94 million and sports wagering turnover took a tumble to €513 million.
One of the only leagues that remained after the Pandemic began was Belarussian soccer, which was enough for punters to place bets. Due to this, overall betting turnover skyrocketed 87% to €445.4 million.
Much less popular among the French is baseball, but, since South Korean maintained its favorite sport and activity in Q2, saw a turnover of €36 million, and put baseball in the second-place in France for the first time ever.
With sports depleted, online poker has blast-off in France and increased by 126% to €142 million. This was the largest gain ever for France's 10-year old market. The number of weekly players grew substantially to 1.06 million, which is 68% more poker players. Cash games and tournaments soared. Cash games rose 82% to €39 million while tournaments stunned all with 149% to €103m.
It was very obvious that poker was on the rise during the first stages of the pandemic lockdown. This happened during Q2 with a spike of 222% in the second and third weeks of April.
There are dozens of poker sites in France and the numbers of poker players continue to rise.