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Poker Revenues Fall in France

Revenue for online poker in France has decreased overall in the last twelve months, a contrasting trend to other forms of gaming in the country.

Gross revenues for online poker cash games in the European country fell by 14 per cent for the twelve month period to May, resulting in €61.2 million of revenue. Poker tournament revenues in Frances faired a little better, with revenue remaining constant at €41 million.

The figures were revealed by President of ARJEL (France’s regulatory authority for online games), Jean-Francois Vilotte last week. Mr Vilotte said more progress needed to be made on a European regulatory-judicial framework that adequately addressed the gaming industry and the revenues it generates.

“The European Commission just needs to draw the lessons of European jurisprudence with regard to the principle of subsidiarity,” he said. “On the other hand, work undertaken by the Council of Europe on sporting ethics is progressing well.”

French online poker sites still rank highly worldwide in terms of play traffic. According to PokerScout, two .fr poker services are among the top nine services with the most traffic; PokerStars.fr which sits at ninth with a seven day average of 1240 players and Winamax.fr which is seventh with a seven day average of 1520 players.

Two other .fr websites were ranked in Pokerscout’s top 20 sites for poker traffic. They were iPoker.fr (15th) with a seven day average of 560 players and PartyPoker.fr (17th) with an average of 530 players over seven days.

Despite the fall in poker revenues, Mr Vilotte said that France’s overall gaming industry was currently in a good state.  “The French online gaming industry has well and truly established itself and, as expected, has consolidated,” he said. “By way of comparison, gross gaming revenues for the sector were €188 million for the first quarter in France, compared with €145 million in Italy. The sector was down 1% in France whereas it dropped 14% in Italy, because of the economic environment.”

Gross revenues for online betting in France increased by 20 per cent to €63.4 million in the twelve months to May. Revenues for online pari mutuel horse racing rose 3 per cent to €103 million, though Mr Vilotte said he expected activity in this area to fall.

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