ANJ: French gambling turnover up four per cent in H1 2023

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France’s gambling authority Autorité Nationale des Jeux has announced that overall gambling turnover during the first half of 2023 has increased by four per cent in comparison to the previous year.

Excluding casinos, gambling turnover for H1 2023 came in at €5.3bn, mainly driven by growth across online poker and sports betting.

La Française Des Jeux and Pari Mutuel Urbain operations represented 78 per cent of the French market’s total revenue for the first half of the year at €4.2bn, with the remaining 22 per cent coming from other licensed operators.

FDJ’s activities reached €3.3bn in H1 2023, up three per cent year-over-year. Meanwhile, PMU recorded €873m, a one per cent uptick from the previous year.

The growth across all segments was mainly driven by wagering on the FIFA World Cup last December, which helped operators acquire new players for sports betting as well as across platforms for poker entering the new year.

Online gaming grew by 10 per cent to €1.2bn, and in terms of online player accounts, the ANJ noted that 3.86 million were active by the end of H1 2023, a three per cent increase from H1 2022.

The gambling authority did state that the number of monthly online active players has been declining throughout the first half of 2023, reflecting “a certain slowing down of the dynamics observed since the start of the year”.

However, the ANJ voiced intrigue at how online active player numbers change throughout the remainder of the year as big sporting events take place across the country, including the Rugby World Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Sports betting accounted for 64 per cent of the overall GGR during H1 2023, increasing by 10 per cent to €750m, followed by online poker improving by 16 per cent to €251m, and horse racing, which rose by 5 per cent to €177m.

The ANJ stated that lottery activities remain efficient but at a lower proportion than sports betting, despite lottery stakes rising by two per cent on the year to €8.2bn.

Drawing games stake reduced by one per cent YoY due to an absence of significant jackpots for Loto and EuroMillions. Scratch games stakes improved by 4 per cent.

Diversification in activities is also boosting FDJ’s turnover, as the group’s international activity now represents 6 per cent – €74m – of its overall turnover, helped by the acquisition of Premier Lotteries Ireland last July.

In its report, ANJ also highlighted diversification as a significant trend affecting FDJ’s H1 2023 trading, not just with regards to products – such as the abovementioned inclusion of poker – but also regarding its international operations.

“The recent acquisition last July of the rights to the Irish lottery until 2034 through the company Premier Lotteries Ireland should boost this segment and underlines the desire for diversification of the FDJ internationally.”