Friday October 25,2013 : ONLINE POKER REVENUES PLUNGE IN FRANCE
 
ARJEL numbers record a serious 21 percent decline.
 
Third quarter numbers from the French regulator ARJEL show a worrying further plunge in online poker revenues, which dropped 21 percent year-on-year after a 16 percent decline in the preceding quarter. That translates to a loss quantum of over a billion Euros compared with 2011 FY stats.
 
ARJEL president Jean-François Vilotte has acknowledged that high taxation has been a contributory factor to the decline in the French ring-fenced market, but he says that the lack of player liquidity has also been a problem.
 
For the past several months there have been repeated reports that the French regulator has discussed sharing player pools with other European countries like Spain and Italy.
 
That is not going to be a quick-fix, given the bureaucracy involved in making the legislative changes that will be necessary.
 
Cash games were the most impacted by the French decline, with revenues reaching the lowest levels since the French market was liberalised in 2010
 
Online betting in the French sports market vertical performed significantly better than poker in the third quarter, with overall revenues up 17 percent to Euro 182 million, making the nine month performance Euro 584 million.
 
Operator GGR was up 15 percent to Euro 31 million in Q3-2013, with football betting making the largest contribution at Euro 20 million. Active player numbers rose 17 percent in the quarter to reach 106,000.
 
Wagering on horse racing lagged 2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, dropping to Euro 255 million, with GGR slightly down at Euro 60 million, but over the nine months year-to-date overall revenues were up marginally at Euro 833 million.