Thursday July 24,2014 : FRENCH ONLINE POKER CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE
Q2 and half-year numbers make depressing reading.
French online poker continues to struggle, according to the Q2-2014 and half-year numbers from regulator ARJEL showing a continued 17 percent quarterly decline in cash games, and an 18 percent drop in cash game revenues over the first six months of 2014 when compared with last year.
Over the second quarter, revenues totalled Euro 1,048 million (Q2-2013 Euro 1,266 million) with the total number of players down by 21 percent.
On the positive side, tournament action was up 6 percent year-on-year, although the number of players fell by 13 percent.
Quarterly tournament revenues at Euro 363 million now reflect the move away from cash games and comprise 35 percent of all quarterly revenues…well up on the 18 percent recorded back in 2011.
Operators blame the heavy tax burden imposed by France, along with the ring-fenced player base.
Overall GGR from gambling operations declined 9 percent to Euro 57.5 million (Q2-2013 Euro 63 million).
In related news, the poker information site Poker News Report published the results of its Pokerscout research on the French, Italian and Spanish online poker markets and the adverse impact of taxation and the lack of player liquidity, noting that traffic on each of the leading European poker sites is in steep decline:
• PokerStars.it – 6 month trend down 33 percent
• iPoker.it – 6 month trend down 40 percent
• Winamax.fr – 6 month trend down 31 percent
• PokerStars.fr – 6 month trend down 28 percent
• PokerStars.es – 6 month trend down 40 percent
• 888Poker.es – 6 month trend down 25 percent
PNR reminds readers that a survey of Spanish players conducted earlier this year revealed that 40 percent now play at sites unlicensed in their countries, and the fact that a number of reputable and safe operators have found the tax and ROI associated with these markets too onerous to remain in them.