France’s new unified gambling regulator, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux, highlighted record results for French online gambling within its first ‘annual market summary’.
The report covers the fourth quarter of 2020, the period from October 1 to December 31, 2020. It also proposes a consolidated vision for financial year, which reflects the reaction of the market to the impact of the health crisis linked to the pandemic
Yet in many ways, according to the report, 2020 has been an ‘extraordinary’ year and one the ANJ noted as a ‘turning point’ for the gaming industry, highlighting it as both a ‘year of change’ from the point of view of games and a ‘record year’ in terms of activity levels.
France’s gross gaming product of the online gaming industry saw a 53 per cent increase to €578m compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, which stood at €377m. Maintaining growth across all digital segments, French online poker revenues hit a record €450m, up 64 per cent on 2019 results of €272m – ‘erasing its previous benchmark of 2011, the first full year of the market opening’.
Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, ANJ chairwoman, warned the sector that 2021 would be a year of transformative change for French gambling with regards to their safer gambling and social responsibility duties.
“The good health of the online gambling sector, due in particular to the massive arrival of new players in sports betting and poker, means that operators must step up their initiatives to prevent problem gambling and protect minors.” Falque-Pierrotin commented in the ANJ market summary.
“In line with the new obligations that came into force in 2020, they must better identify and assist at-risk players, provide tools for moderating playtime or betting and ensure responsible promotional strategies. This is more important than ever, and with major sporting events approaching before the summer, promoting recreational gambling must be a priority shared by all.“
Over the whole of 2020, France’s online betting industry recorded total revenues of €1.74bn, up 22 per cent on full-year 2019 results of €1.42bn.
ANJ cites that market growth was driven by a combination of factors that saw ‘new market players’ benefit from the strong take-up of digital gaming services during France’s health crisis.
Additionally, despite the cancellation of all French professional sports leagues from April onwards, the country’s betting ecosystem recorded a seven per cent revenue increase to €940m.
Of note, ANJ stated that French sports betting industry had registered one million new customers during 2020, aiding the sector’s recovery during the second half of year trading.
For 2021, the group has issued its new ‘technical command‘ to licensed operators, which the agency will use to present deeper reporting of French online gambling performance, as well as auditing all product performance.