Online Gambling Rising in Popularity in France

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Since May 2010, online gambling has been rapidly rising in popularity in France as the country started allowing sports betting, poker, and horse race betting via the internet. Due to the larger number of accounts by active players, the market for online gambling has experienced an all-time high in the first three months of this year.

The online gambling regulator of France, ARJEL, released its latest Quarterly Review of the Online Gaming Market. The quarterly report covers the months since the start of 2018 up until 31 March 2018. The review provides an analysis and overview of official data that has been filed by all of the licensed online gambling operators in the country. The numbers have shown that such businesses regulated by the ARJEL have been experiencing steady growth over the past few months.

From the very start of January up until 21 March, up to 34 percent of the handled wagers reached a higher amount. The Internet-based operators in sports betting have handled up to 847 million euro in wagers in that time frame, and it is 34 percent more than last year in the same period. In 2017, the sports wagers totaled up to 633 million euro. The gross gambling revenue has experienced an increase of 55 percent in the first quarter of this year compared the first quarter of last year, jumping from 94 million euro to 147 million euro.

The significant growth is attributed to the more substantial number of active payer accounts. An individual can also have more than one active account on various online gambling sites with different online gambling operators. Comparing the numbers from the first three months of last year and the first three months of this year, the active accounts have increased from 1.5 million to 1.9 million. The majority of the account holders are men, but there has been a rapid increase in women creating and using online gambling accounts as well by 30 percent. Those held by men have been rising by roughly 24 percent every year since 2010.

Online sports betting has experienced one of the highest surges in women holding active accounts. The numbers have risen by 69 percent while those held by men have increased by 42 percent. In online poker, women have become seven percent more active, and in horse racing, women have become only five percent more engaged. Even though the percentage seems minuscule, the 7 percent represents 73,000 people, and the 5 percent includes 54,000 people.
Online gambling operators have been offering a number of bonuses and promotions that have also served and contributed to the growth of active players accounts over the past few months. They have attracted 36 percent more people, an estimated 462,000 active bettors on a weekly basis.

Sports betting has been emerging as the favorite type of online gambling. During the first quarter of this year, betting has risen by 34 percent in sports gambling with wagers reaching a total of 847 euro. It is expected that sports betting will continue to hold the lead in the field over the next quarter of the year while the other avenues of betting also continue to rise in numbers.