Tuesday May 10,2016 : FRENCH ONLINE GAMBLING MARKET IMPROVES
 
First quarter shows both growth and higher wagering, with sports betting the star.
 
Online gambling investors and operators in France will be encouraged by positive first quarter industry results released Monday by regulator ARJEL.
 
The figures show that sports betting remains the principal contributor to the market with impressive gains compared to Q1-2015 in both growth and the amount wagered.
 
The regulator commented that an increase in betting returns to players probably boosted the action, encouraging players to re-bet winnings, along with a 75 percent rise in the number of bonus offers and a welcome 34 percent increase in new active punters.
 
Highlights of the report included:
 
* Online sports turnover up 47 percent year-on-year at Euro 516 million;
 
* Online sports betting revenue up 30 percent at Euro 82 million;
 
* Improvement noted across most sports, with football bets rising 45 percent, tennis 46 percent, basketball 57 percent, hockey over 100 percent and rugby 71 percent compared with Q1-2015;
 
* Horse racing continued to struggle, with handle dipping 7 percent y-o-y at Euro 247 million and revenues lower by 5 percent at Euro 66 million despite a marginal increase in active gamblers;
 
* Online poker provided a welcome surprise, with overall revenues up 2 percent at Euro 62 million – the first upward movement since 2011 and attributed to higher tournament fees. Cash game stakes in the ring-fenced and highly taxed market failed to follow suit, however and were down 7 percent at Euro 953 million as the number of cash game players declined. The gains were at the expense of lower bonuses for poker fans, but active player counts overall grew 4.4 percent anyway to around 257,000;
 
* Over half of online sports bets were made using mobile devices, and poker-by-mobile showed a similar upward trend, rising to 47 percent in Q1-2016 – it highest contribution to date. Horse racing punters were slower to follow the mobile channel trend, with contribution up a mere two points at just 36 percent.