Observers are calling new French gambling laws a success after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the now the question becomes whether or not the licensed online sportsbooks in France can keep the action going.
The French government fully legalized online gambling just before the World Cup tournament and the national regulatory body Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL) has announced that licensed operators reported combined revenues of €107 million during the World Cup. About 70% of the betting in this period was on soccer and the average stake wagered was €10.
In June, fully half the total number of estimated online punters – some 1.2 million – played on one of the dozen or so licensed online sportsbooks in France. Independent firm Global Betting & Gaming Consultants predicts that gross gambling yield in France will double 2009 figures by 2011, when the markets is expected to reach €665 million.
Mangas Gaming vice-chairman Isabelle Parize commented to Reuters news service upon release of the results that “It’s well known that a large amount of players come in to bet on these big events and get out right after. The question is to know how many players will stay and how much they will bet.” Mangas is the parent company of BetClic, one of the new French licensees.
The question would appear to be highly relevant even in the short term, as the newly licensed sportsbooks spent a combined total of €40.6 million in advertising before and during the World Cup, including the over €13 million spent by Pari Mutuel Urbain, the former French monopoly in the sector.