ARJEL comments suggest regulation is likely; SNAI ruing horse walkout


ArjelFrench regulator ARJEL has reported figures that show the country’s regulated gaming industry is continuing to suffer. Amounts wagered on sports betting were down 23% compared with Q4 last year with gross win dipped 10% to €28m. Cash poker fared no better with amounts wagered down 3% to €1.87bn and active players decreased 10%. That was offset by tournament play increasing in popularity with a 16% increase in active accounts in this area. One of the other bright sparks was horserace betting where active players grew 38% and gross win increased 29%. The regulator also revealed advertising budgets were shot down by over 50% as they declined to €46m compared with the previous year.

The latest set of ropey figures prompted ARJEL president Jean-Francois Vilotte to lead calls for the market to be reformed. The latest declines were “a cause for concern” due to the fact it could prompt players to return to unregulated or international sites. Many will say the regulators set themselves up for a fall by setting the taxes at such an anti-competitive level originally. One of the fiercest critics was former BetClic Everest chairman Stephane Courbit who commented that it “does not allow us to exist.” Certainly looks like the regulator’s starting to feel that way too.

Over the border in Italy, a strike in the country’s horseracing industry has seen revenues decrease by 50% at one firm, according to eGR. The stoppage, which began on January 1, was triggered by a cut in funding by the beleaguered government and has caused SNAI to hit the buffers. Since the strike they’ve been limited to take bets on foreign races and are unlikely to hit the ambitious earnings forecasts they posted last week, even though they included a warning over horseracing.