The French iGaming market has experienced a one fifth rise in revenue in H1, and many might want to know why and how beyond all the pundit speculation, and elation.
The Bold Totals
France regulator ARJEL crowned the sports betting for the 20.1% year-on-year revenue increase for the first half of 2019: totals wagered in legal sports betting, horse race betting and online poker verticals reached €6.25bn (£5.72bn/$6.97bn) for a 13.1% improvement from the prior year.
Sports Betting Driver
Sports betting was the driver in growth across the general sports vertical, with a 33.9% increase to €2.48bn, the largest H1 figure ever turned in in a market that opened for business in 2010.
Gross gaming revenue was bolstered by all this robust activity as well of course, resulting in the market total reaching €700m for the six months ending June, 2019. Sports betting drove the revenue growth with a 32.9% jump to €436m.
Promotions played a significant role in these developments as well, with licensed operators spending €43m on bonus offerings.
Other key contributors to the H1 rally included horse race betting and poker, with wagers on horse racing climbing 4.2% year-on-year to €542m, while revenue rose 5.6% to €133m.
Further contributions included poker, where cash game stakes increased to €2.08bn, and tournament entry fees rising 2.3% to €1.15bn.
The total media spend for all licensees rising to €104m, which was actually only 30% of total marketing spend. The remaining 66% went to non-media marketing expenditures including retention and acquisition bonuses, plus 4% on sponsorship deals.
Q2's 13.6% rise to €343m was driven by a 62.4% contribution of €214m from online sports betting. The total was supported by Q2 player activity growth, with 608,000 players active each week, up 527,000 from 2018.
Sports betting then is the key to France's substantive growth, a reminder of the added dimension that sports betting brings to iGaming markets, takes and hauls across markets worldwide.