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Everest Poker Eyes Top of French Online Poker Market

Everest Poker is back and wants to spoil the plans of PokerStars and Winamax in the French online gambling market.

BetClic Everest Group announced at a press conference the relaunch of the Everest Poker brand in an attempt to revive its business in France after a major restructuring the last couple of years. The company wants to increase its current 8% online poker market share in France by 50% next year.

“From a strategic point of view, BetClic can say ‘we’re purely a betting operator’ or we can do more than that and we have a brand like Everest Poker and there’s really something to be done with it. It won’t be easy and the market is in a difficult place at the moment but the timing is good and when we look at what we’ve been able to do in online betting, a market that is very heavily taxed with very strict working conditions, there’s no reason we can’t succeed in poker,” BetClic Everest Group chief executive Isabelle Andres told iGamingBusiness.

The French online poker market is currently on a major downswing, according to the regulatory body Autorité de Regulation des Jeux en Ligne (ARJEL). The poker gross gambling revenue has decreased by 17% in the third quarter of 2013, down to €58 million, compared with the same period of 2012. Also, the total amount staked on online poker fell 21%, the biggest quarterly downfall since the French market opened in 2010.

“We see a decline in the poker market in France but we still think it remains a significant market. Some operators left the market so there is more room for the ones that are remaining and we definitely think there is a challenger place up for grabs,” Andres told eGamingReview.

So far, the French online poker market has two clear leaders – Winamax and PokerStars.fr. Everest has high hopes that it will defeat the other two major contenders – Partypoker.fr and PMU Poker – for third place and become a real threat to the top two. And the plan is set: a new loyalty programme, a new Everest.fr mobile application, plus a major three-month media campaign. Not to mention the successful migration to the Playtech iPoker network that will put the company in a strong position.

“After the migration to the iPoker network, which took us some time to improve our offering, we believe that we now have a good product. We have some features which are really exciting, a strong product and also a historical brand,” the chief executive added.

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Florian Gheorghe

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