Sports betting the star performer, poker and horserace betting decline continues.

Sports betting proved to be the only star performer in the French market during 2016 delivering an impressive 45 percent increase in wagers but the poker market continues to dwindle and horse race betting stakes declined for the 15th consecutive quarter, representing, for the first time, less than half of the yield derived from sports betting.

The decline in horserace betting is attributed to two significant events, that of PMU’s  separation of online and retail and stagnating active player accounts. Stakes decreased 9 percent to Euro 924 million, the lowest since the opening of the market in 2010.  Gross gaming revenue was Euro 234 million, down 8 percent.

Poker gross gaming revenues declined 1 percent, a marginally slower rate than previous years.  Tournament activity slowed, for the first time since launch, delivering a 5 percent increase in wagers while cash games declined 5 percent (for the 21st consecutive quarter) despite a flurry of activity in the last quarter which was attributed to the introduction of a new variant.

“The arrival of new variants on the cash game has undoubtedly created a positive dynamic on this segment of the game,” ARJEL said.

Sports betting wagers came in at Euro 2.1 billion in 2016, while gross gaming revenues amounted to Euro 349 million (up 29 percent).  This strong performance is attributed to an increase in RRP, a 36 percent increase in active player accounts and the popularity of two major sporting events during the year.

In terms of marketing spend, operators spent Euro 194 million, 32 percent more than 2015 but in line with marketing spend levels in 2014.  The increase is partly due to customer acquisition strategies during EUFA Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics.