France’s Q1 2020 Online Gambling Figures Up
In general, the gambling industry has quite the storied history when it comes to France. Some of the oldest and most popular gambling establishments exist within the country. Not only that, but it was France that contributed a great deal towards the development of today’s popular casino games. For example, it was in France that the Queen playing card became a permanent feature of the deck, forever replacing the Nobleman in the 1500s.
Today, gambling remains as a legal activity in the country, provided an operator holds a proper licence. Regulations aren’t especially strict within France though, although gambling taxes remain relatively high in comparison to many other countries. This also equates to online gambling, which has been legal since 2010 where sports betting, poker and horse racing betting are concerned. Online casinos aren’t quite as welcomed, though.
And while it hasn’t specifically been something that France raves and shouts about, perhaps it should start doing so. In Q1 of 2020, the online gambling revenue shot up, and this was prior to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic taking hold. A serious surge was witnessed according to figures released by French gambling regulator ARJEL. Locally licensed online operators managed to generate a combined revenue of €435 million from January through to March of this year. That’s a 22% rise on the same period from last year.
Sports Betting Falls but Gains Remain
Even though France’s overall online betting industry experienced gains, the sports betting sector actually fell by 4% year-on-year to €1.22 billion. That’s the regulated market’s first decline in nine years, although that was to be expected due to the cancellation of major sporting events in March.
Yet, even with this turnover decline, favourable sports results ended up netting an 18% betting revenue rise year-on-year, which was recorded as €263 million – an amount never witnessed before. There are many online betting sites for France, and these will doubtless have contributed to that overall total in Q1 of 2020. Generally speaking, it’s important for bettors to have a range of platforms to choose from when it comes to sports wagering, as different bookies offer different things.
It wasn’t only France’s sports betting sector that experienced record-setting figures in Q1, but its poker sector, too. Revenue spiked 44% year-on-year through those initial three months. This spike did seem to peter out later on, thanks to the resumption of certain key sporting events and the possibility for sports betting to take place in larger numbers again. The re-opening of land-based gaming establishments also contributed to the decline in online poker figures, too.
This is not so surprising though, considering that sports betting (and more importantly horse racing betting) has quite the tradition in France. Parimutuel betting originated in France too, which is just another contribution to the gambling industry that has come from the country. It remains to be seen what the figures for Q2 2020 will look like from France, although it is expected that online poker and sports betting will have experienced yet another rise in activity.…
Source: Eastern European Gaming