France’s online poker cash game spending tops €1b in Q2


france-online-sports-betting-pokerFrance’s online gambling growth slowed in the second quarter of 2019, but all verticals (even poker) posted year-on-year gains.

Figures released Monday by France’s ARJEL regulatory body show locally licensed online gambling revenue hitting €343m in the three months ending June 30, a 13.5% improvement over the same period last year but down €14m from Q1 2019’s total.

The 13 French-licensed online sports betting operators reported healthy rises in both betting turnover (€1.2b, +20%) and revenue (€214m, +18%), despite Q2 2018 containing the opening half of the FIFA World Cup. The number of active weekly betting customers surged 15.3% to 608k in Q2, despite the fact that operators’ bonus offers to customers fell by 6% year-on-year.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup garnered betting turnover of €48.7m in Q2, less than one-quarter of the €218.4m the men generated in Q2 2018. But the absence of the men’s tourney produced turnover gains in all other football leagues with the exception of the Ligue Europa, which was down 6% year-on-year.

Online race betting turnover and revenue were both up 8% to €269m and €66m, respectively. Operators’ bottom lines were boosted by a 34% fall in bonus offers and a 1.4-point decline in punters’ winnings. The number of active weekly race bettors jumped 4.4% during the quarter, thanks to a 7% rise in the month of June, suggesting that the World Cup took a larger bite than usual out of racing’s Q2 2018 results.

Online poker revenue was up 5% year-on-year to €63m, although this was down €5m from Q1’s total. Cash games, which were the lone black mark in Q1’s report, saw spending rise 9% to over €1b, while cash game revenue improved 6% to €21.5m. That growth rate exceeded the usually reliable tournament vertical, which reported spending and revenue both up 4% to €546m and €41.5m, respectively.

Overall, online poker’s active customer ranks rose 6% to 261k in Q2, with cash games up 10% to nearly 74k, while tournament participation was up 8% to 247k. As with the other verticals, poker’s Q2 gains came despite bonus offers falling 26% year-on-year.