The online gambling market in France continued to grow in the first quarter of this year, with revenue rising 35 percent to €587 million (2020: €435 million).
The rise is due in part to a 19 percent increase in active accounts to 3.07 million (2020: 2.59 million), with the company claiming that “each online gaming segment open to competition is still experiencing very strong growth in activity.”
“These performances illustrate the acceleration of the digitisation of gambling practices, which is a consequence of the health crisis and whose structuring nature will have to be confirmed in the long term,” the French regulator ANJ noted upon publishing the figures.
“As such, the levels of growth recorded in the first quarter of 2021, which are measured against the first quarter of 2020, must be received with a certain degree of caution since, on the one hand, they are influenced upwards, for both online betting segments, by the losses of activities linked to the suspensions of French sports competitions and horse races and, on the other hand, downward trend for the online poker market, due to the peak of activity recorded at the same time last year.”
Following the largest year-over-year growth in turnover, online poker income increased by 23 percent to €120 million (2020: €98 million).
Due to lockdowns and sporting cancellations, the number of active online poker players increased by 9 percent to 991,000 (2020: 906,000). However, it’s been cautioned that Q2 could defy the trend of excellent rises after 2020 exhibited “an exceptional level of activity.”
Online sports betting stakes increased by 79 percent to €2.18 billion (2020: €1.22 billion), with GGR up 38 percent to €357 million (2020: €263 million) and the number of active accounts reaching 2.46 million, up 29 percent from 1.91 million.
Online horse race betting
The country’s online horse racing betting business is also believed to be growing at a “very sustained pace,” with stakes up 60 percent to €481 million (2020: €300 million), the biggest amount in over a quarter.
The six regulated horse betting businesses brought in €110 million in revenue, up 48 percent from the €74 million in the first quarter of 2020. The number of active player accounts increased by 13 percent to 402,000. (2020: 357,000).
The ANJ’s president, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, said: “The dynamics of online games were confirmed again this quarter and accelerated. It calls for certain vigilance and must be accompanied in order to guarantee the protection of players, especially in the run-up to major sporting events such as the football Euro or the Tokyo Olympics.
“As such, the ANJ reminded operators of the need for their commercial communications to stress the importance of maintaining a moderate and controlled gaming practice and that the bonus or welcome offers they offer are sufficiently clear, allowing players understand the commitments they underpin.
“In addition, the ANJ will pay particular attention to the sites of prognosticators or tipsters which have recently developed strongly. Some of these sites are indeed deceptive marketing practices and present a real danger to players.“