Online Betting in France is on the Upswing Thanks to Women

May 26th, 2017 | by Kaycee James

French online betting is experiencing an upswing with Q1 revenue hitting record highs thanks to more females anteing up.

ARJEL revenue report.

France’s iGaming watchdog ARJEL has reported record sports betting revenues in the first quarter of 2017. (Image: Shutterstock)

According to ARJEL’s latest revenue report, online sports betting revenue was up by 23 percent from €516/$576 million to €633/$707 million between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017.

As well as topping last year’s target, 2017’s total was a national record, beating the previous high of $661 million set in 2011.

Female Participation Boosts Returns

Helping to fuel this rise in sports betting income was increased female participation. As outlined in the report, the number of women placing at least one sports bet online jumped up by 40 percent to 79,000.

This recent spike, coupled with strong performances from football, basketball and tennis betting, have helped to show that French iGaming regulation hasn’t been a complete disaster.

In fact, on top of positive sports betting returns, online poker also enjoyed a small upturn during the first quarter of 2017. Although participation was down slightly, sales increased by 3 percent compared to the same in 2016.

This slight improvement in online poker sales should be seen as an encouraging sign in light of France’s soon-to-be implement liquidity sharing legislation.

ARJEL has confirmed that the first liquidity sharing deal will be signed in June and allow French players to join those from Italy, Spain and Portugal.

This deal is expected to increase online poker activity across all the above countries, which could help France’s poker sales to increase even further in the latter half of 2017.

Economy Improving but Problems Persist

While the latest revenue figures are encouraging, a stiff tax regime and the growing presence of unlicensed operators are still causing problems for French operators. ARJEL confirmed in a statement that, despite its best efforts, the presence of illegal gambling sites is “intensifying.”

As well as posing a potential risk to players, unlicensed sites are avoiding the heavy taxation licensed sites have to pay and are, therefore, earning much more money.

In light of this, ARJEL believes a new taxation would help take into account the “habits or the new generations” and give regulated sites a better chance of improving their revenues.

While the battle against high taxes and illegal operators will take some time to resolve, those with an interest in French iGaming still have something to smile about.

With revenue up and new customers coming into the market, it looks as though France may finally be moving forward as a regulated online betting nation.

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