France's iGaming Market Posts Positive Results in Q1 2016

French gambling regulator ARJEL has just released its latest iGaming results for Q1 2016, and the news was positive with the industry reporting a 9% increase in revenues to €207 million compared to the same quarter in 2015.
Providing the single biggest boost to the French market was online sports betting, which in the three months ending March 31st noted an impressive 30% surge in revenues to €82 million. Furthermore, all the individual sports punters placed wagers upon saw their revenues improve during Q1, including football (+45%), tennis (+46%), basketball (+57%) and rugby (+71%).
The horseracing industry, on the other hand, continues to slide in popularity as was apparent from its 5% fall in business to €66 million. ARJEL also reported an accelerating decline in horseracing revenues at a time when the number of weekly activities had actually risen by 1% in Q1, indicating a trend of horseracing gamblers now placing smaller bets.
One of the biggest surprises of Q1, however, was a rare increase in business generated by online poker. The vertical hadn’t experienced a revenue increase since Q3 2011, but in Q1 2016 iPoker reported a 2% improvement to €62 million. The gain was mainly due to an increase in poker tournament fees which rose 17% to €500 million, and helped offset the 7% decline in cash game stakes to €953 million.
More good news for poker could also be on the horizon soon, too, after the French Senate voted to allow player pooling with other regulated EU countries, although a number of hurdles have still to be overcome before French, Spanish, and Italian players will be able to compete against each other across a single platform.
Finally, 47% of the poker action that took place was carried out using a mobile device, which represents a 7% improvement year-on-year, as well as its biggest proportion to date. Meanwhile, more than half the digital sports wagers placed were via mobile devices, which for horseracing then dropped to just 36%.

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