French iPoker Revenues Fall To €57m In Q3 2014November 4, 2014 5:25 pm
French gambling regulator ARJEL has released its latest quarterly results for the country’s online gambling industry, and while sports betting reported an impressive 94% improvement in gross gaming revenues (GGR) to €60m, internet poker continued its slide with revenues falling by 2% to €57m. France’s Q3 results now marks three consecutive quarters of declines for the country’s iPoker industry.
Breaking the figures down further, online cash games in France saw its turnover fall by €59 million to €1.040 billion compared to Q3 2013, while poker tournament buy-ins actually noted a slight improvement of €2 million to €354 million from a year earlier.
Unfortunately, the French iPoker industry is one of the least appealing regulated markets in the world, and has continued to be hampered by the extortionate 37% tax rate levied on operators, as well as a ring-fenced player pool lacking in liquidity. In spite of these obvious shortcomings, France’s regulator ARJEL seems content to overlook the problems, and has, instead, focused its blame on the game itself. Earlier this year, for instance, ARJEL President Charles Coppolani stated that “The fad is over. Basically, the online poker market may be mature,” and dismissed poker as being “too complicated for a young audience”.
Nevertheless, there are signs that Coppolani may soon be ready to address the uncompetitive state of online poker in France after Europoker.fr went out of business in September, leaving up to €500,000 in player bankrolls and bonuses frozen in their online accounts. Coppolani has since met with a select group of French online poker players in an attempt to improve communication between them in the future, and said he would also consider their requests for lower taxes on operators, and sharing France’s market with other European countries, including Spain and Italy.
Meanwhile, France’s sports betting industry performed rather better and in Q3 posted gross gaming revenue of €60m, a massive 94% increase compared to the €31 million produced in Q3 2013. From that tally, football betting accounted for 63% of the market, while tennis was next highest with a 24% share of total sports bets.