Tuesday April 15,2014 : CASH GAME TRAFFIC PULLS FRENCH DEDICATED ONLINE POKER MARKET DOWN
Latest figures from the regulator show that operators lost around 10 percent of turnover.
The French online gambling regulator ARJEL's latest industry numbers show that declines in cash game traffic in the heavily taxed and ring-fenced online market contributed to the erosion in poker overall despite more positive indicators on the tournament play side.
The market has been fading for the past two to three years and shows little sign of recovery this year, with 2014 first quarter active player accounts down 12 percent compared to the same period in 2013…a downward slide that the regulator estimates has cost operators around 10 percent of turnover.
Poker Cash game wagering slipped by 19 percent in Q1 2014 – that's a deadly 28 percent decline over the past two years. Wagers on cash games came in at Euro 1.2 million in the quarter, well down from the Euro 1.476 million wagered during the first quarter of 2013.
On the bright side, tournament action saw a 9 percent growth, with total buy-ins up from Euro 375 million in Q1-2013 to Euro 407 million in Q1-2014.
The drag caused by the cash game decline prompted ARJEL to note that operators "….are experiencing considerable losses for yet another quarter," as turnover moved from Euro 72 million in Q1-2013 to Euro 65 million in the current quarter – a 10 percent downward slide.
The French active online poker player count underlines the decline; the total number of active players dropped from 299,000 in Q1-2013 to 263,000 in Q1-2014, representing a 12 percent downward shift.
It appears that high taxation and the continued resistance by French politicians to recognise the advantages of shared player pools with other nationally regulated European nations will likely see little improvement in the foreseeable future.