French online gambling market shows encouraging signs

News on 10 Feb 2018

The French Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) released encouraging online gambling statistics for full year 2017 this week.

The regulator said the “slight rumbling last year is clearly confirmed” revealing that all market segments had recorded an increase in activity and positive results in stakes, gross gaming revenues and the number of active players accounts.

The entire market yielded Euro 9.2 billion in wagers and entry fees, an increase of 9 percent. Gross gaming revenues increased 18 percent to reach Euro 9.2 billion and active player accounts grew 13 percent.

“These results are encouraging, they testify to the dynamism of the licensed operators and reflect the determined action of the regulator,” ARJEL said.

Despite positive overall results, the regulator highlighted disparities in the three markets saying sports betting confirmed its dominance with record wagers amounting to Euro 2,5 billion and 2 million active player accounts, an increase of 400,000.

Online horserace betting reignited after four consecutive years of decline due to new, innovative products and an increase in the return rate.  Active player accounts grew 7 percent to reach 523,000 y-o-y.

Online poker surprised with a  turnaround, especially on cash game business, recording growth for the first time since 2011, even if it was a modest 1 percent.  ARJEL anticipates the positive trend to continue following the advent of shared liquidity pools with European partners.

Government coffers were fattened with a 13 percent increase in tax revenues to reach Euro 439 million, the regulator confirmed.
A point of concern raised by ARJEL was the increase in average player expenditure across the three segments which amounted to Euro 343 compared to Euro 328 in 2016.  ARJEL said it will present a new strategy in the coming weeks to reinforce responsible gambling.

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