Tuesday November 3,2015 : ANOTHER LACKLUSTRE QUARTER FOR FRENCH INTERNET GAMBLING
Limited player pools, high taxation and restricted betting options continue to weigh on the market.
The latest quarterly results from the French online gambling regulator ARJEL show a persistent pattern of weakness, with sportsbetting the only vertical making any real impact with a year-on-year rise of 3 percent to Euro 62 million, thanks to a 5 percent increase in punters to 165,000.
Horse racing remained popular, with a year-on-year gain of 5 percent to Euro 60.1 million on flat turnover of Euro 238 million.
National online gambling revenue in Q3-2015 was down 0.3 percent y-o-y at Euro 176.1 million, with online poker the worst performer, declining 5 percent to Euro 54 million…it could have been worse but for the 21 percent improvement in tournament activity….but cash game wagering dived 20 percent.
ARJEL chief Charles Coppolani tried unsuccessfully to put a positive spin on the now five-year-old online gambling market in his country, saying that goals had been partially achieved, but conceding that "everything didn’t go exactly as planned,” and that the market was not as competitive as had originally been hoped, and that online poker was an area for concern.
He said he was optimistic that more poker variants would be permitted by the end of 2015 but did not indicate what these may be, and confirmed that international player sharing pools remain a possibility at some future stage, political approval permitting.
Coppolani opined that at least some of the 17 remaining licensed operators in France were "achieving balance or are about to."
The regulatory chief recently bemoaned the fact that his recommendations for improving things in France had not been taken up as promised by national politicians debating the construction of the country's new digital bill