The French regulator’s first annual market summary shows annual revenue of €1.74bn.
France.- The French gaming regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has reported record online gambling revenue for the market in 2020.
In its first annual market summary, the ANJ reported revenue of €1.74bn, an increase of 22 per cent year-on-year from 2019.
The ANJ said that new market players had benefited from a surge in the use of digital gaming during Covid-19 lockdowns.
Growth was seen across all online segments, including online sports betting despite the cancellation of sports events and the curtailment of France’s Ligue 1 football league during spring 2020.
Sports betting revenue hit €940m, an increase of 7 per cent year-on-year from 2019, thanks to a surge in new customers in the second half of the year. Operators together registered one million new accounts in 2020.
There was also a 33 per cent increase in totalizer bets in horse racing, up to €1.5bn as the national monopoly PMU advanced with its process of digitisation.
Horse racing revenue rose from €272m in 2019 to €354m despite the closure of its retail network for much of the year. PMU also managed to increase its active customer base by 5 per cent to 630,000.
Online poker revenue saw particularly high growth, rocketing 64 per cent to €450m.
The ANJ said it would report more exhaustively on French online gambling performance as of this year after publishing new technical requirements.
Chairwoman Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin warned operators that it would be a year of change in terms of safer gambling and social responsibility.
The ANJ has made changes to its problem gambling and addiction strategy, including simplifying France’s gambling self-exclusion system.
Falque-Pierrotin said: “The good health of the online gambling sector, due in particular to the massive arrival of new players in sports betting and poker, means that operators must step up their initiatives to prevent problem gambling and protect minors.
“In line with the new obligations that came into force in 2020, they must better identify and assist at-risk players, provide tools for moderating playtime or betting and ensure responsible promotional strategies.
“This is more important than ever, and with major sporting events approaching before the summer, promoting recreational gambling must be a priority shared by all.”