It appears players in France are playing staking less money in online poker cash games as total turnover of French licenced operators decreased in the first half of 2013.
Turnover in France’s online gaming market fell by 14 per cent year-on-year to €2.7 billion, which was largely attributed to a drop in cash game revenue along with heavy taxation on the turnover of online poker sites. Turnover for online poker tournaments, however, remained stable over the first six months of the year, with €713 million (around US$915 million) generated.
Although online tournament turnover was stable, gross gaming revenues actually decreased by 12 per cent year-on-year to a total of €135 million (around US$173 million). This coincided with a seven per cent decrease in the total amount of active players on France’s online poker services in the first half of the year.
Winamax continues to have the greatest share of the .fr online poker market with a seven day average of 1360 players, according to PokerScout. That’s good enough to be seventh most frequented online poker service in the world as per the site’s list. PokerStars is the second largest French service, with a seven day average on 1100 players on its French domain.
PartyPoker and iPoker’s .fr services are also in the top 20 global poker operators in terms of online traffic. PartyPoker is currently fifteenth on PokerScout’s Online Poker Traffic list with a seven day average of 550 players, while iPoker sits two places down in seventeenth place with an average of 485 players over the same period.
The decline in turnover in France’s online poker market is in contrast to the turnover in the European country’s other online gaming industries. Online sports betting turnover, for instance, increased by 11 per cent year-on-year to total €402 million (around US$515 million), while gross gaming revenues increased by 11 and a half per cent to €80 million (around US$103 million).
Online pari-mutuel horseracing in France, on the other hand, increased by two per cent year-on-year to €578 million (around US$742 million), with gross gaming revenues in that sector going up by two and a half per cent.
The indications as to how the online poker market may fare in the second half of 2013 are currently unclear, but turnovers are unlikely to get a massive boost if high taxation rates remain in place.