French online gambling revenue soars


In most countries, the online gambling market has been doing pretty well throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Locked down populations shifted their gambling habits from land-based casinos and retail sports betting to online operators (when there were even sports to bet on). Now that the pandemic is more than a year old, some countries, such as France, are seeing a huge surge in online play, especially as professional sports return to normal. Nowhere is this phenomenon more visible than in France, where online gambling revenue soared 35 percent in Q1 2021 as compared to 2020.

According to a recent report on iGamingbusiness.com, French online gambling operators posted €587 million ($714 million USD) for the first quarter of 2021. Analysts credit the surge to two factors; a massive influx of new players, and a spike in sports betting due to the return of professional sports across the world.

The French gambling regulator Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) reported that French operators are reporting a massive 19 percent increase in active players for the first part of the year. That totals about 3 million French players who have increased their playing habits in one form or another.

It turns out that the form of play that’s seeing the most action is sports betting. French punters dropped €2.18 billion ($2.65 billion USD) on wagers during the reporting period. Compared to the dark days of Q1 2020, that’s an increase of 78 percent (which represents the fact that there are now football and tennis matches that can actually be wagered on). All that activity translated into about €357 million in revenue for gambling operators.

Good news from France is likely a harbinger of good news for gambling operators across the European Union as many parts of the world slowly emerge from their pandemic slumber.

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