Internet Sports:French Betting Drops 26.5%
The amount of cash wagered on internet sports betting has dropped by more than 26.5% in France quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2011, says Le Figaro a French newspaper.
The reason for this decline is the lack of major sporting events in France. Jean-Francois Vilotte president of ARJEL quickly pointed out the reason for this is that the French market only opened in May and can’t compare its current figures to Q1 2010. “This is a momentous drop, the public should realise this does not necessarily mean that sports betting will remain below the 20% mark this year,” said Vilotte.
This decline is a major setback for internet gambling in France, which started off rather ominously and received a fair amount of criticism from Stéphane Courbit former-BetClic Everest chairman.
Last week Friday, bwin.party co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger expressed his concerns and concurrent problems the French market poses for internet casinos, saying his company “now knows what works and what does not work in France. Many gambling operators are simply not prepared to set up offices in France given the nature of its current legislation and exorbitant tax rate.” Teufelberger added that “The French government… acknowledged that their sports betting taxation is way too high and they believe that approximately 75% of France’s sports betting volume are locked up within the black market.”
All is not doom and gloom in France’s gaming industry, sports betting figures may have experienced a severe decline for now, but the amount gambled on horse racing shot up to €241m. This figure is more than the amount wagered in the first four months since the market opened. Internet poker figures are up as well and for the first quarter totals €1.9bn.
Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) ex-monopoly said growth in Q1, with the amount wagered on horse racing is up 3.8% to €2.47bn. Its net profits increased substantially by 8.3% quarter-on-quarter and it currently stands at €791m and its egaming arm pmu.fr experienced a 57% (up to €318m) growth with 10 million unique visitors per month. It did not reveal its financials.[addtoany]