ANJ: French monopolies dominate in record-breaking 2022

Groupe FDJ has penned an agreement to acquire ZEturf Group, one of France’s largest online horse race and sports betting brands
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2022 saw French gambling achieve its highest-ever gross gaming revenues of €12.9bn, recorded across all licensed segments by l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the country’s unified gambling authority. 

Yet, despite achieving peak GGR results, ANJ’s 2022 market report showcases the ‘disparities of French gambling’ made up of private enterprises competing against operators managing exclusive monopoly contracts.  

FDJ and PMU dominate market performance 

The condition is highlighted as €8.9bn of the GGR total (64%) was generated by FDJ and Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU), the respective monopoly operators for the National Lottery, sports betting POS and French horseracing.

ANJ proclaimed a “record year for monopoly operators”, which benefited from a post-COVID return of a “normalised business environment, with almost all points of sale reopening since June”.

As such, FDJ’s lottery offerings played a significant role in market growth accounting for a GGR contribution of €5.5bn in 2022, up 10% from 2021 results of €5.05bn.

Further highlights saw France’s land-based casino venues return to growth as the segment generated a GGR of €2.5bn, reflecting a +130% increase on 2021 comparatives €1bn and outpacing 2019 results of €2.4bn.

French Online Gambling stabilising despite peak activity 

Of significance, ANJ highlighted that France’s online gambling market had stabilised in 2022, following the record consecutive years of 2022 and 2021.

 Overall online gambling accounted for a GGR of €2.18bn, a slight increase of 0.8% from 2021 and accounting for a 6% rise in new customers bringing the markets ‘unique player accounts’ to four million.

Online sports betting achieved moderate growth with a GGR of €1.38bn, an increase of 2.5% on 2021 results, and wagers totalling a record €8.3bn – primarily attributed to bets placed on the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

Sports betting accounted for 85% of ‘active player accounts’, which increased to around 4.5 million, with GGR generated per active player standing at an average of €312.

ANJ monitoring the impact of inflation 

Observing the market’s development, the ANJ commissioned a survey by Harris Interactive on ‘consumer behaviour and the impact of inflation’. In which it found that “45% of gamblers experienced financial difficulties, mirroring the national average of 44%”.

Concerns on gambling expenditure were most prevalent amongst younger consumers in the age range of 18-24 year-olds (55%) and 25-34 year-olds (58%).

Overall, the survey found that 45% of gamblers reduced their gambling budget, whilst 18% cut back on other spending to continue gambling – a trait displayed mostly by younger demographics.