France’s sports bettors are setting new wagering records on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the tournament is nowhere near over.
French gambling regulator Arjel recently disclosed its official statistics on local punters’ outlay on the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Over the 48 group stage matches between June 14 and 28, French punters wagered a total of €363m, more than twice the €166m wagered on the 2014 World Cup’s group stage and €73m more than the total €290m wagered on the entire 2014 event.
This year’s World Cup group stage wagering also exceeded the €297m wagered during the 51 competition matches of the 2016 UEFA European Championships.
Of the sum wagered so far on the 2018 tourney, €159m was placed with the 27k points of sale of the Française des Jeux (FDJ) retail sports betting monopoly. The remaining €204m was placed with Arjel’s 12 online sports betting licensees.
(Incidentally, the French government is in the process of privatizing its 72% stake in FDJ’s lottery and betting operations, which can be yours for the low, low price of roughly €3b, although certain conditions apply. Call your local legislative office, ask for Emmanuel.)
The three World Cup matches featuring the French national team understandably generated significant betting volume. Some €39m was wagered on these three matches, roughly 11% of the group stage’s total handle.
However, the Brazil v. Switzerland match on June 17 claimed the prize for the highest betting volume of the tournament to date at €17m. That sum was good enough for the second-highest betting volume on any single event since the French online market liberalized in 2010.
The French regulator recently released its 2017-18 annual report, in which Arjel president Charles Coppolani offered his support for the government’s efforts to unify the country’s gambling regulatory structure under a single authority. Coppolani said a single regulator was needed to respond with the proper speed to address a rapidly shifting gambling environment and to impose the necesssary consumer protections.