France’s online gambling sector has registered a record turnover of €617 million, as the public engaged with May and June’s Roland Garros (tennis) and the UEFA Euro 2020 Championships.
The turnover results represent the ‘highest level of activity’ recorded by the French online gambling sector since the ‘opening of the French marketplace in 2010’ – according to data from regulatory agency L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ)
Publishing its ‘Trimestre Deux’ market update, the ANJ revealed that it had recorded 3.3 million online gambling player accounts during the period of 1 April-30 June – approximately 260,000 accounts up on previous quarter results.
Market growth was attributed to French sportsbooks maintaining their ‘peak performance’ with period wagering amounting to €2.15 billion, as French sports betting reported back-to-back record-breaking quarter results during 2021.
Branded the ‘market’s accelerator’, French sportsbooks registered a combined turnover of €420 million catering for total player accounts of 2.8 million, up 12% on previous quarter comparatives.
Of significance, the ANJ noted that sports betting turnover had nearly doubled against 2019 ‘normalised pre-COVID results’ of €214 million.
“The particularly attractive calendar of the quarter, with in particular the Euro football and the Grand Slam of Roland Garros, had an undeniable impact on the practice and on the recruitment of new players. In fact, bets on these competitions represented 22% of the quarter’s activity,” ANJ’s report explained.
Further positives saw French horse racing continue its progress towards its ‘pre-COVID stabilised results’, registering a turnover of €95 million generated from total wagers of €400 million (+11%) as 360,000 online players made bets on French syndicated racing events.
Meanwhile, online poker recorded a 27% decrease in turnover to €103 million, which ANJ attributed to France easing its ‘intense Winter lockdown restrictions’.
Yet, in maintaining 900,000 accounts French poker retains a player participation well-above its pre-COVID results. Additionally, no metrics for online casino were reported as the vertical remains banned under France’s federal online gambling laws.
ANJ concluded its report by underlining that it had begun its review of French gambling advertising standards, in which licensed online operators must submit their activity reports for the remainder of 2021 trading.
“The Euros boosted the segment of sports betting whose turnover reached another record this quarter. This growth testifies to the fact that the French model, although very supervised, is not a brake,” stated ANJ President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin.
“However, it asks us about the societal issues that these new uses come to question. This is particularly the case with advertising, a subject on which the ANJ is currently consulting all stakeholders to promote a rebalancing of operator practices. Finally, under the leadership of the ANJ and in collaboration with other administrative or judicial institutions, the toxic offers of tipsters have been severely hampered in recent months. “