French regulatory body ARJEL released its third-quarter review of the online gaming market. Revenues from licensed operators (horse racing, poker, and sports betting) fell 5% to €158 million year-over-year.
The online poker market in France continued its decline, contracting 5% in September to €70 million from €74 million in the same period last year. The number of active cash game players fell to 82,000, down 45% from the third quarter of 2011.
“The number of active player accounts is down, and poker activity seems to be entering a stage of stabilization or even declining, mainly because of the difficulty in recruiting new players for licensed operators,” ARJEL said in a statement.
“It is clear that cash games activity shows more signs of slowing down in the year 2012, with the decline widening every quarter.”
One of the few bright spot: sports betting, where stakes were up 14% to €156 million thanks to the 2012 Olympics in London. Horse racing turnover also increased, up 2% to €260 million, though active accounts slipped 2% to 290,000.
Last month, Italian regulator AAMS published its first year-over-year review of the gaming market since cash games were rolled out in July 2011. Total poker revenues (cash games and tournaments) were down 31% to €23.4 million.
Higher taxes and waning liquidity have burdened dot country markets. ARJEL president Jean-Francois Villotte and his counterparts in Italy and Spain are discussing the possibility of pooling liquidity. The regulated markets need the boost.
Sources: ARJEL and Casino Choice