Sunday August 25,2013 : ONLINE POKER DECLINE CONTINUES IN FRANCE
Latest ARJEL report shows a sixth consecutive quarter of decline
French regulator ARJEL's latest quarterly numbers from the dedicated online poker market in France continue to showcase a sector in trouble, with revenues slowing due to fewer players and less money being staked.
With the second quarter 2013 flagging a decline that has continued now for six consecutive quarters, it can hardly have escaped the regulator's notice that limited player liquidity and high taxation need to be addressed if the sector is to grow and player and operator enthusiasm recovered.
Adding to the alarm is the drop in tournament poker fees for the first time, sliding to Euro 341 million from the previous quarter's Euro 345 million. That exacerbated a continuing slump in cash game stakes – down 16 percent to Euro 1.27 billion – to bring overall poker revenues down to Euro 63 million, or a 9 percent slide.
Player interest declined in the quarter, particularly in tournament action, where active player accounts dropped to 273,000 – a decline of 7 percent, with the most noticeable key demographic that which showed players wagering less than Euro 100 staying away in an 11 percent drop, suggesting a loss of appetite among recreational players.
In common with most other French verticals, and wider industry experience, the use of mobile devices grew, with 28 percent of French poker fans playing on mobiles – an impressive increase of 10 percent that included the use of tablets growing 3 percent to 7 percent.
The French regulator also noted important age demographic changes, advising that the average French online punter is male (only 13 percent of gamblers were women in the quarter) with the percentage of players under the age of 35 falling two percentage points to 54 percent – that's a slow 4 percent slide since 2011.
The drop in players in the 18 to 24 year age group fell even further, down 3 percent to 18 percent…something to worry about for the futurists.