The French National Gaming Authority (ANJ) said that online gambling was recovering well, with a 17% jump in Q3 compared to last year.
Online Gambling Shows Spectacular Recovery, ANJ Says
France’s gambling regulator Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) announced the impressive recovery of the country’s gaming market, with 49% more betting activity during the third quarter, with €1.6 billion. Despite the pandemic, French operators have bounced back and reported a 17% increase in Q3 revenue year on year.
The ANJ reported that the online gambling turnover for the first three quarters of 2020 went up 11% compared to last year, reaching €1.2 billion.
The ANJ said the “spectacular recovery” of the gambling market is for the most part due to the surge in online sports betting as competitions resumed over the summer. The number of active player accounts went up 37% in Q3. The French online market suffered from the impact of the pandemic, with multiple lockdowns, reschedulings, or cancellations of games. However, it grew by 25% in Q3 from the previous quarter.
Soccer Boosts Wagering, Horse Racing and Online Poker Report Growth
Online sports betting totaled €1.6 billion, the highest amount recorded over the past 10 years. However, the gross revenue generated by operators only reached €228 million, as players spent less with an average spend of €104, a 22% decline.
Betting on soccer games skyrocketed by 89%, with 1.02 billion bets placed. About 64% of all sports wagers came from soccer, as more than €31 billion were wagered on the Champions League’s final between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. This is the second-largest game behind the 2018 FIFA World Cup final with France and Croatia.
Horse race betting started again on May 11, with horse track races resuming with no public, and reported more money spent per player. Bettors staked €363 million in horse races in the quarter.
The online poker market also documented growth, with more players and a 36% jump in revenue during the third quarter, to €90 million.
ANJ Demands Operators Focus on Player Protection
Since most new online players are in the 18-24 age range, ANJ chairperson Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said the entity expected gaming operators to expand their customer protection measures, asking for more accountability from the industry.
“Indeed, unlike the first lockdown, the sports and horse betting gambling offer is widely available and this situation can constitute a breeding ground for the development of excessive or risky practices for people weakened by this unprecedented context.”, she added.
Ms. Falque-Pierrotin also asked the French government to give the ANJ the administrative power to fight illegal online gambling more efficiently, and therefore avoid going to court systematically.