Stellar showing from sports betting drives French market growth

Stellar showing from sports betting drives French market growth

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Posted by News Team
France
Vertical boosted by France's successful World Cup campaign

France’s online gambling market has reported a 21% year-on-year increase in gross gaming revenue, with sports betting enjoying its strongest period of growth since the market opened in 2010.

Total revenue across poker, horse racing and betting for the three months ended September 30th climbed to €271m. The final stages of the FIFA World Cup – won by France – contributed to a 28% increase in amounts wagered, which reached €2.8bn.

While all three legal verticals posted growth for the period, sports betting was the undoubted star, according to French gambling regulator L’Autorité de regulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL). Amounts wagered leapt 81% to €995m, with the seven matches of the tournament played after July 1st generating €164m in stakes, around 16% of total bets placed in the quarter.

The final, which saw France defeat Croatia, generated €38.5m in stakes alone, the highest amount ever wagered by French bettors on a single football match. In comparison, the UEFA Euro 2016 Final between France and Portugal – a match played in Paris – generated €12.7m.

The World Cup also led to significant increases in player activity, with 553,000 weekly active player accounts on average during the quarter, an 84% year-on-year increase.

Aided by the World Cup, football further consolidated its position as the most popular sport for bettors, attracting €626.9m in bets during Q3. All major sporting competitions saw an increase in amounts wagered, with a 34.4% increase in betting on the Europa League the most notable jump.

Betting on horse racing, meanwhile, saw revenue rise 6% to €63m, with stakes up 4% to €254m. ARJEL credited this growth to efforts by operators to attract new players, which was evidenced by a 4% increase in weekly active player accounts to 132,000 and a 60% jump in bonuses paid to players.

The poker vertical also enjoyed a strong quarter, with growth in both cash game stakes and tournament entry fees recorded, due in part to the pooling of European liquidity with Spain and Portugal. This contributed to a 3% increase in GGR to €59m.

Cash games, which has struggled for growth in recent years, saw total stakes climb 13% year-on-year to €1bn, with tournament entry fees up 7% to €528m. Active weekly player accounts also climbed to 238,000. This was all achieved despite the number of licensed poker operators in the market shrinking to six, as a result of GVC Holdings’ Electraworks subsidiary pulling its offering.

ARJEL also noted that there was strong crossover between poker and sports betting, with the number of customers active in both verticals rising 53% during the quarter.  

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