French Gambling Industry Records €13.4bn GGR in 2023

Home » French Gambling Industry Records €13.4bn GGR in 2023

According to the official report (pdf) released by the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s gambling and sports wagering regulator, gaming and sports wagering operators experienced an increase in their gross gaming income on an annual basis by 3.5% to €13.4bn during the last year. In addition, each market vertical noted “recorded GGR growth after a (period of) stabilization in 2022” related to COVID-19 and that GGR last year was “the highest level of activity” the section has ever experienced.

Very good profit results:

Although the results aren’t bad at all, the watchdog again officially warned operators that they would need to be “particularly attentive to the gambling practices of punters to ensure that “intensification (of playing patterns) does not accelerate” during this year, particularly with the upcoming the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Euro 2024 football tournament.

The aforementioned rate of increase in GGR places the operators from France “slightly below the European market growth rate of 5.5% (or €134bn GGR).” However, ANJ pointed out that the digits are at the same level as the results for Spain, UK and Germany. Although each of the market sectors saw an increase in past year, those growth scales varied between +0.9% to +14%, when it comes to non-identical verticals.

Commenting on the results of the GGR, President of the Autorité Nationale des Jeux, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, commented: “The healthy state of the market demonstrates that demanding regulation is not a brake on development. This growth makes the objective of reducing the number of excessive gamblers, which the ANJ has placed at the heart of its action for the coming years, all the more relevant.”

Two main contributors:

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Two major contributors to the total GGR results are Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) and Francaise des Jeux (FDJ). PMU managed to collect €1.7bln, and FDJ €6.6bln, meaning they contributed 62.7% of the total GGR.

PMU’s business increased by 1% over the past year to hit €1.7bln in GGR, reaching levels before the pandemic. In addition, the firm optimized its racing calendar to improve its operations and made certain modifications to several of its products.

As for FDJ, profits collected from online and land-based sports wagering increased by 10.4% and managed to reach €1bn, contributing 16.2% of the firm’s overall GGR. After the acquisition of ZEturf, an online horse racing tote operator during Q3, the firm now has eyes and ears in every gaming sector, according to the regulator.

Online revenue data:

Relatedly, GGR collected by all French operators increased by 8% to a record-breaking €2.7bn. Of the 200 land-based facilities, 74% managed to achieve a profit level bigger than that of 2019. In terms of details, slot machines contributed over 80% of GGR.  Then there is Paris, where there are 7 gaming clubs, and their GGR has grown by nearly 11% to €119m over the past year.

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As for the GGR collected by online operators – it grew by 7.2% to €2.3bn, representing 17.5% of the overall market. This online sector is led by online horse racing tote wagering at 15%, online poker at 21.6% and sports wagering at 63.3%.

Although the overall number of one-of-a-kind players peaked at 3.6m, online sports wagering was the single section that didn’t see growth in active accounts numbers (-3.9%), even though stakes increased by 2.2% to €8.5bn, and its GGR was still higher +6.4% to €1.5bn.

Furthermore, the absence of big sporting events “appears to have led to a decrease in the pool of unique players (-7.3%),” the regulator pointed out and issued an official warning that the absence of fresh gambling accounts contrasted with the growth of average wagers per active account of €1,982, aka +6.3%.

In this regard, the regulator pointed out that online sportsbooks will have to be “particularly attentive to the gambling practices of punters to ensure that intensification (of playing patterns) does not accelerate,” as this “may lead to more intensive gambling practices,” especially among young adults (ages 18-34), who make up nearly 30% of the overall number of online gamblers in comparison to 12.4% of older adults (ages 35-64).

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As for the online wagering on horse racing – it was back in action with GGR up nearly 2% to €353m and wagers of €1.5bn at +5%. In addition, uniques saw growth of +1.5%, and  activity increased by 4.5%, highlighting “that horse racing tote betting is attracting new players.”

And finally, online poker experienced a surge in activity, “topping the records set during the health (COVID) crisis,” meaning its GGR increased by 14% to €504m. Commenting on that, the watchdog said that from 2019 to last year, the overall number of activity recorded a growth of 7.7% to 1.9m, and the average yearly GGR increase rate of the sector was 16.6%, according to the source.

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