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Much hassle for online poker in France while sports betting experience growth

Trends for France’s igaming verticals were confirmed on Tuesday when the country’s online gaming regulator ARJEL revealed that fourth quarter stakes for online poker cash games dropped 23% to €1.2bn, with gross gaming revenues down 12% during the final months of 2013 to €65m.

Annual figures showed gross gaming revenues and stakes for online poker cash games had dropped 13% and 18% to €258m and €5.5bn respectively during 2013. Stakes for tournaments were up 5% to €1.4bn, although this was not enough to make up for the drop in cash game figures.

France's online gaming operators generated €325m in tax revenues, excluding VAT, ARJEL said. 

Online betting continued its upward trend, with a 41% rise in stakes to €264m and a 38% rise in gross win to €54m during the three month period. Over the 12-month period, stakes rose 20% to €848m and gross win was up 19% to €164m, helped by football’s popularity, stakes on the beautiful game were up 39% in 2013. Basketball and tennis also proved attractive to punters as stakes on those sports rose 36% and 25% during the year.

Stakes for horse racing pari mutuel were down 6% to €278m with gross win just about stable (-1%) at €67m during the quarter. Stakes were down 1% to €1.1bn over the course of the year while gross gaming revenues rose very slightly, 0.4% to €264m, in 2013. Operators achieved the rise in annual gross win through an equivalent reduction in the payout ratios to 78.2%.

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