France’s fledgling online gaming market has been hit with another blow as online sports betting saw a major decline for the first quarter.
The money bet online by French citizens dropped by 26.5% quarter-on-quarter for the first quarter of 2011 according to a story in Le Figaro.
According to eGR, the French periodical pointed to there being a lack of a major sporting event in the first quarter. Now we know that rugby union isn’t the most popular sport in the world. In France the Six Nations Championship is undoubtedly a “major” sporting event. Not on the level of the World Cup. It’s “major” though.
The period did see an increase in horseracing wagering. The amount bet in the first four months since it was opened up grew to €241m. Online poker also increased over the same period with the amount being bet totaling €1.9bn
Although ARJEL president Jean-Francois Vilotte pointed to the fact that there are no figures to compare to in Q1 2010 as the online market only opened in May.
Vilotte also added, “This is a significant decrease, but this does not mean that sports betting will be down more than 20% this year.”
Bwin.party co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger already commented, from his stock market hole, on Friday that, “The French government… admitted that they went too far with the sports betting taxation, and they believe that about 75% of the volume in France is still in the black market.”
The news won’t be a surprise to the many who have castigated the system of taxation in the country and it will be interesting to see the figures later in the year when there is a comparable period.