France’s regulated online gambling market saw strong sports betting gains in the third quarter of 2016 while poker cash games declined at a slightly less alarming rate.
Figures released Thursday by French gaming regulator ARJEL show the country’s licensed online sports betting operators enjoyed betting turnover of €448m in the three months ending September 30, a 50% rise over the same period last year, while online sports revenue was up 40% to €87m.
Betting got a boost from the Euro 2016 football tournament, which generated turnover of €39m, while the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro generated wagers worth €34m. Combined, the two events accounted for 16% of Q3’s overall betting stakes.
Football accounted for 58% of Q3 betting stakes, while tennis claimed a 27% share. No other sport managed to enter double-digit territory, with the next highest score of 3% shared by basketball and rugby.
The number of active sports bettors rose 45% to 239k during the quarter. Interestingly, while women account for only 9% of French online sports bettors, the number of new female betting accounts rose 85% in Q3, while new male accounts gained only 43%. In the other verticals, the rate of decline in new female accounts mirrored that of their male counterparts.
Overall online poker revenue slipped 3% to €54m, of which €31m came via tournaments and €21m from cash games. Cash game stakes totaled €817m, a 2% year-on-year decline, although that’s an improvement over Q2’s 9% decline. However, tournament stakes totaled €430m, a gain of only 0.4% compared to Q2’s 7% rise. Active poker player ranks were off 5% to 211k, after posting gains of 4% and 1% in Q1 and Q2, respectively.
Online horserace betting continued its long slide towards irrelevance, with turnover falling 11% to €213m while racing revenue was down 10% to €54m. Active player accounts declined 8% to 121k despite bonus offers improving 9% to €6.3m.
The overall number of online gambling accounts was up 2k to 281k, although all of the gains came in July due to the Euro 2016 tournament. By contrast, August saw new signups fall 31% year-on-year.
September numbers on French operators’ marketing spend weren’t available to ARJEL, but spending over the first eight months of 2016 was up 46% to over €129m. Most of this spending came in June and July to promote Euro 2016 and Olympic offers, as August’s marketing outlay fell 11% year-on-year.