French iGaming sector stoops 11% in H1 as customers return to land-based venues
France’s iGaming industry generated GGR of €1.1bn in the first half of 2022, an 11% decrease on the corresponding period in 2021.
A drop in online H1 turnover had not been observed since 2013, the regulator said.
New data from France’s National Gambling Authority (ANJ) showed that GGR decreased in all iGaming verticals, while the number of active player accounts also declined by 12% to 3.7 million.
Online sports betting stakes amounted to €3.97bn for H1 2022, down 8% compared to the same period in 2021. GGR reached €685m, down 12% compared to H1 2021.
The online horse racing betting segment posted stakes of €727m, a decrease of 17% compared to H1 2021. This vertical generated GGR of €169m, also down 18% compared to the same period of the previous year.
The ANJ noted the decline was likely linked to the return of consumers to land-based venues, which had been hit with closures due to Covid-19 restrictions in the first half of last year.
Online poker generated GGR of €216m, marking a 3% decrease compared to the first half of the previous year.
In addition, iGaming operators’ marketing expenditure declined by 46% to reach €57.2m in H1 2022.
However, the ANJ said the record marketing investments observed in the first half of 2021, in particular on the occasion of the Euro 2020, partly explain the drop in 2022.
The regulator added that advertising expenditure will most likely increase in the second half of this year due to the 2022 World Cup in December.
In spite of a downward trend in iGaming, France’s gambling sector experienced a more than 7% rise in total turnover for H1, reaching €5bn, driven by the strong performance of the country’s two monopolies.
Stakes processed by Française Des Jeux (FDJ), the operator of France’s National Lottery, increased by 10% from €9.1bn in H1 2021 to more than €10bn in H2 2022.
GGR from FDJ’s activities reached €3.2bn in the first half of 2022, an increase of 12% compared to the first half of the previous year.
The ANJ highlighted that this strong growth is exclusively due to lottery activities, where stakes increased by 17% to reach €8bn over this period.
Meanwhile, French horse betting operator Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) saw stakes climb by 18% to €3.9bn year-on-year to reach pre Covid-19 levels. GGR was also up 15% and reached €969m.
The ANJ suggested the lifting of the last health restrictions at points of sale had clearly brought horse racing bettors back to the physical network, much to the detriment of online gambling.