French regulator ARJEL has released their detailed fourth quarter report highlighting, among other things, the decline of the number of active poker players in France. This development isn’t all that surprising considering that the regulatory board already bared some figures last month, showing a 5 percent decline in their poker revenue numbers for 2012 compared to their numbers in 2011.
Further adding credence to that drop in revenue are new figures released by ARJEL, including a year on year decline of 9 percent in the number of active poker players. If there is a silver lining to this drop, the report also suggested that the number of online poker players in France, as well as the projected revenues for the year, are now stabilizing and are unlikely to decline any further.
According to Pokerfuse, ARJEL’s report cited online poker as taking a hit in revenue, dropping 2 percent from its 2011 numbers. That drop was caused by a 3-percent drop in cash games revenue from their 2011 numbers. On the flip side, tournament entries are up by 14 percent, although that pleasantly surprising increase in revenue still couldn’t account for the lost revenue in cash games – the ARJEL report noted that total tournament entry fees should have been risen by 20 percent to account for the lost cash games revenue.
Taking into consideration the online poker revenues generated by the French market in the same quarter last year, the total amount of €1,579m placed on cash games in the quarter is a shade lower than the €1,869m generated in the same time last year with tournament entries in the same time frame rising marginally to €367m, just a shade ahead of its 2011 numbers of €324m.
It’s not all bad news, though, especially when you consider the circumstances ARJEL, just like any other European regulator, is facing in light of the current economic crisis in the region. The report also has its share of positive news, including the modest increase of women poker players – from 11 percent to 12 percent -as well as the increased use of mobile devices to access online poker.
All told, the last quarter of 2012 saw a total of around 694,000 players who have played at least a game of online poker. Those numbers might not seem like an impressive thing, but given the market climate and the overall drop in revenues, suggestions that the market is getting ready to stabilize with minimal chance of further decline is, by and large, a positive thing.