French regulator ARJEL has announced that the regulated online gambling market in France generated €325 million of tax revenue for the state in 2013.
The total figure, which excluded VAT, represented a slight decrease on the 2012 total of €327 million.
Sportsbetting generated €79 million of the total, with €86 million generated by online poker and €160 million by horse racing pari mutuel (tote).
The total amount placed on sportsbetting increased year-on-year by a record 41% to €264 million in the three months until the end of December 2013 in comparison with an average 20% increase across the whole year.
However, the increase in sportsbetting was offset by a big fall in online poker, with cash game bets down by 23% to €1.214 billion in the quarter and 18% for the whole of 2013 to €5.055 billion.
Horse racing pari mutuel (tote) betting decreased by 6% in the quarter to €278 million, bringing the total for the year to €1.111 billion, a 1% drop on the previous year.
PMU ’s move away from offline pari mutuel and focus on online betting, poker and international business enabled it to make up for a 3% drop in the French group’s historic vertical as tough economic conditions continue to impact its traditional customer base across France in 2013.
The group, which describes itself as France’s number one site overall for betting and gaming, recorded a 22,4% rise in online betting stakes to €199m thanks to strong interest in the country’s Ligue 1 football championship and a 10% rise in online poker stakes to €570m during 2013.
Gross gaming revenues for online betting were up 20,7% to €38.5m and rose 19,5% for online poker to €21.6m, enabling “PMU to strengthen its position as number 3” in the French online poker market behind PokerStars and Winamax. Stakes for online pari mutuel were down 3% to €943.2m.
International bets placed on PMU races through its syndication deals outside France rose 93,6% to €638.3m and helped offset the 5,3% drop to €7.9bn in stakes across its retail outlets. Overall, horse racing stakes dropped 1,8% to €9.6bn with gross gaming revenues rising 0.2% to €2,48bn in 2013.
Online betting operators licensed in France have submitted their feedback to the country’s Competition Authority in reference to the splitting up of Pari Mutuel Urbain’s online and offline activities.
The Authority will assess all stakeholder feedback and hold consultation hearings in order to change or add to the amendments and comments supplied, it should then announce the guidelines it expects PMU to follow in the next two to three months with regard to carrying out the effective separation of its online and offline businesses.
The consultation period followed the Authority’s announcement in October that PMU, Europe’s leading horse racing pari mutuel company and overwhelming online tote in France with 86.4% market share, had agreed to separate its online and offline activities, a move private operators believe will make the working environment more even and competitive.