French gamblers skewing older, spending less, going mobile

arjel-france-older-gamblersFrench gaming regulator ARJEL has published statistics on the country’s gambling market through the second quarter of 2013, showing decreases in active accounts across all verticals. Overall, the average French bettor is skewing older, with the number of players under 35 years old falling to 54% from 56% in Q2 2012 and 58% in 2011. Bucking the trend, the share of sports bettors aged 18-24 grew from 24% to 28%, but the share of poker players aged 18-24 fell to 18% from 21%. The number of women holding active gambling accounts of any kind was unchanged at 13%.

Mobile devices now account for 25% of online sports wagers (21% via smartphones, 4% via tablets), up from 18% in Q2 2012. The share of mobile horseracing bettors has risen from 14% last year to 18%. Poker players are the most “nomadic,” with 28% of them connecting via mobile device, up from 18%. Poker players are especially fond of tablets, with the share of players connecting via L’iPad and the like rising from 4% to 7%.

Sports betting turnover rose 6% to €198m, despite the absence of Euro 2012 wagering this quarter. Football nonetheless managed to account for 53% of sports bets, with tennis the next most popular at 28%, followed by basketball (8%), rugby (3%), ice hockey and volleyball (tied at 2%), handball (1%) and all others (3%). Total betting revenue rose €1m to €36m while the rate of return to players was unchanged at 84%.

Average number of active sports betting accounts fell 2% to 118k, which ARJEL dismisses as the result of the absence of casual Euro 2012 bettors this summer. The number of active accounts spiked to 152k and 154k during quarterfinal matches of the Champions League. French-licensed betting operators nearly halved their marketing budgets year-on-year to €26m, but again, much of the decline is attributed to the impact of Euro 2012.

Horserace wagering turnover fell 2% to €273m, while revenue rose 1% to €65m thanks to a 0.5% decrease in the rate of return to players. Active account numbers slipped 1% to 142k.

Poker cash game stakes tumbled 16% to €1.27b, while the average weekly total fell to €96m and touched an all-time low of €85m during one week in June. Tournament fees also experienced their first decline since the market opened, falling from €345m to €341m. Overall poker revenue fell 9% to €63m.

The volume of players taking part in tournaments fell 5%. Active poker accounts fell nearly 7% to 273k, while active weekly accounts fell 18% to 106k. ARJEL said the decline in active accounts was “more linear” this quarter, “reflecting the downward trend of the market.” This marks the sixth straight quarter in which active player numbers have fallen. Worse, the biggest decline (11%) was among players spending under €100 during the quarter, meaning recreational players are increasingly turned off by licensed French online poker.