French gambling witnessed a ‘spectacular year of online growth’, according to the 2021 Market Report published by l’Autorite Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) – French gambling’s unified regulatory authority.
Mitigating continued COVID-19 circumstances impacting land-based venues and the sporting calendar, France’s gambling market recorded total GGR turnover of €10.7bn up 7% on FY2020 results of €10bn.
Described ‘as the first pillar of the French gambling market’, state-sanctioned monopoly operators F rançaise des Jeux (lottery & retail betting) and PMU (horseracing) accounted for 70% of GGR registering combined revenues of €8.5bn.
The growth of the monopoly operators was attributed to the strong recovery of FDJ’s lottery retail network combined and improved online sales that registered a 16% increase in lottery GGR to €5bn.
Returning to normalised trading conditions, PMU horseracing activities registered a GGR of €1.5 billion, 16% above FY2020 results. Yet, PMU turnover remains below the pre-covid 2019 records of €1.8bn as French racing registered a 1% year-on-year decline in active customers to 625,000 .
Meanwhile, forced to close venues for the first half of year trading, France’s land-based casinos recorded a 41% decline in GGR to €1bn.
Marked as the market’s ‘hyper-growth segment’, French online gambling (sports betting, horseracing bets and online poker) for the first time broke the €2bn turnover threshold registering a combined GGR of €2.2bn.
ANJ noted that online growth was driven by the ‘ powerful engine of sports betting’ that delivered record-breaking wagers/stakes of €7bn, helping the segment achieve FY2021 GGR of €1.33bn (FY2020: €940m).
Of significance, ANJ stated that sports betting had achieved its fifth year of consecutive double-digit growth in active customers, registering 4.5 million players during the course of 2021.ANJ noted – “This exceptional increase compared to 2020 benefited from an attractive sports calendar, culminating in the Euro 2020 football tournament which generated €445m in stakes. Football remains by far the sporting discipline that generates the most bets.”“In 2021, sports betting represents 82% of active player accounts (AGA) in the online gaming sector. The number of CJAs in sports betting increased by 16% in 2021 compared to 2020, to 4.5 million. Finally, the turnover per active player account […]