Poker, Sports Betting Drive Gaming Growth in France

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L’Autorite Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s gambling regulator, has reported gross gaming revenues (GGR) of €444.0 million ($502.2 million) in the country’s online casino sector for the third quarter of the year. This is 9.6% more than the Q3 2020 results when performance was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sports, Poker the Big Winners

The third quarter of France’s online gaming market saw a total of €1.60 billion ($1.81 billion) bet on sports. This was due to the conclusion of the 2020 European Championships and the Tokyo Summer Olympics which together attracted €520 million ($589.2 million) in bets.

This is a 0.9% decrease from the €1.61 billion ($1.82 billion) in Q3 2020. At the time, this was the largest number since the opening of the market. The stakes also fell from Q2 2021. However, the total GGR from sports betting was €264 million ($299.1 million), an increase of 15.7% from the previous year.

Horse racing bets generated €81 million ($91.78 million), a decrease of 6.9%. The stakes in horse racing reached €363 million ($411.35 million). This is the same amount as Q3 2020. However, a further slide is possible after the latest doping scandal in the country. Poker GGR rose 10% to €99 million ($112.17 million).

The quarter saw 2.2 million active players, an increase of 0.7% over the previous year. The figure was lower than Q2, where operators received €617 million ($699.2 million).

ANJ Goes After Operators

In October, the ANJ reprimanded operators for limiting stakes and refusing to accept players’ bets, a violation of federal laws. Operators who engage in aggressive marketing activities around Euro 2020 have also been criticized by the regulator. It promised that it would implement an “action plan on marketing” after the event was over.

The regulator is also starting to target responsible gambling at the pre-adolescent level. Mon Quotidien, a children’s newspaper, has partnered with the ANJ to publish “Jeux d’argent et Protection des Mineurs” (‘Gambling & the Protection of Minors’).

Mon Quotidien’s special edition sees ANJ launch its very first education campaign, targeting children aged 10-14 years. It also aims to raise awareness about gambling behavior among the families and schools that are part of the target audience.

The ANJ’s issue will include testimonials and interviews from gamblers who found gambling at a young age as well as “cartoons and infographics that highlight the risks associated with gambling.

Harris Interactive conducted research that showed that 41% of parents suggested their children participate or play in a gambling game. This trend was particularly evident during Christmas.

Research by OFDT – France’s addiction observatory revealed that 39% of French under-17s had participated in gambling for money, be it scratch cards (78%), lotto draws (48%), or placing a bet on a sporting event (28%).

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