The French gambling market performed well in 2021, with total gross gambling revenue increasing to €10.7 billion ($11.48 billion), the lottery and sports betting leading the way. The results obtained in 2021 improved on the figures for 2020, but they were still below the 11.1 billion euros (11.91 billion dollars) obtained in 2019 before the pandemic paralyzed a large part of the sport and play opportunities.
The online betting sector in France is growing
The National Gaming Authority reported a significant increase in the number of online operators, with the share of interactive gambling reaching 2.2 billion euros ($2.36 billion) in fiscal 2021 By comparison, online gaming revenues were €1.7 billion ($1.82 billion) in 2020 and just €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2019. , indicating a noticeable shift in audience preferences. The rise of interactive gaming isn’t exactly unexpected given the dearth of alternative gaming options during the worst of the pandemic.
Sports betting, however, rebounded with activity bringing in 1.36 billion euros ($1.46 billion) in gross gaming revenue. In comparison, sports betting only generated €940 million ($1 billion) in 2020. The total amount of sports betting reached €7.9 billion ($8.47 billion), fueled by the Euro 2020 tournament.
A closer look at the ANJ revealed that 82% of online account holders focus on sports when it comes to interactive gambling. However, the player’s turnover increased significantly to €303. Online casino revenue also grew, with the igaming segment reaching 2.1 billion euros ($2.25 billion) and the watchdog estimates there were at least 5.4 million accounts across various online gambling sites in the country.
France continues to operate in a state of duopoly by two companies which account for 70% of gross gaming revenue in France, at least in 2021. These are Française des Jeux and Pari Mutuel Urbain, with both companies seeing a influx of sports bettors. In the meantime, France are preparing for a busy season ahead, as the World Cup in Qatar would certainly mean a big spike in the betting handle.
Limit the impact of illegal gambling websites
The ANJ has undertaken an extensive campaign to begin to limit the influence of illegal gambling sites in France. The regulator said it would seek to blacklist and suspend websites that operate without a license. Much of the illegal sector, however, thrives in part because of the lack of competition from more private operators, one argument goes. Either way, the regulated online gambling industry has grown during the pandemic with a full comeback still a long way off.