After a singular year in 2020, which ended with a 22% increase in the sector's turnover, the first quarter of 2021 confirms the very dynamic growth of the online gambling market, with a 35% increase in turnover compared to the same period in 2020. Sports and horse racing betting once again recorded record stakes, while poker, still on the rise, began to return to normal.
Ten years after the market was opened in 2010, the year 2020 is a turning point for online gambling, which is becoming a permanent fixture in French people's lives. Because of the acceleration of the digitisation of gambling practices favoured by the health crisis and the arrival of new players, online sports betting, horse racing and poker have recorded historic performances. The sector's turnover rose by 22% in 2020 to reach €1.7 billion, its highest level since the opening to competition.
Because gambling is not a game like any other, the French Gambling Authority (ANJ) asked Harris Interactive to interview parents of children aged 10-17 years about their practices and their views on them. While parents are very aware of the risks of this activity for minors, in practice their behaviour seems to be less in line. 41% of parents say they have already offered their children to play or participate in gambling, on average from the age of 11.
As soon as it was set up on 23 June 2020, the National Gambling Authority began drawing up its strategic plan for the next three years. It sets out its vision of regulation and how it intends to add value to players and economic players. Five priority focus have been set to keep gambling within a sustainable perspective of recreational gambling.
Since 31 December 2020, the management of the self-exclusion file, previously held by the Ministry of the Interior, has been entrusted to the French Gambling Authority (ANJ). The ANJ is now offering a renew, easily accessible service that simplifies the process of registering for the file and reduces the time required to validate the process. Players no longer have to go to a police station and their registration can now be done entirely online.
Following a second quarter 2020 of loss of activity due to the cessation of sports competitions, the online gambling market recorded a spectacular recovery in the third quarter 2020 marked by a turnover growth of 25% compared to the second quarter 2020. The market even recovered to a level significantly higher than the one before the health crisis, with a turnover growth of 17% compared to the third quarter of 2019, coupled with an increase of 29 % of the number of players (i.e. 2.7 million players).
Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN, Chairwoman of the ANJ, and René JANSEN, Chairman of the Kansspelautoriteit (Netherlands), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 23 October 2020.
In the 2nd quarter of 2020, the online gambling market recorded a decrease of 6% of its GGR* and a decrease in active player accounts of 9%. It is the sports betting sector that has been the most affected by the effects of the health crisis with a decrease of 56% of its GGR. Conversely, the poker and, to a lesser extent, horseracing betting segments recorded a sharp increase of their GGR.
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