L’Autorité nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the French gambling regulator, has reported online gambling revenue of €1.74bn (£1.49bn/$2.06bn) for 2020.
The record high income from online platforms came in the second half of the year. The regulator reported “vigorous” online growth as the impact of covid-19 changed the way many punters accessed gambling.
Commenting on the year’s results, ANJ said: “In many ways, 2020 is an extraordinary year and a turning point for the online gaming industry; it is both a year of change and a record year in terms of activity levels.”
The regulator reported that total deposits for 2020 were up 25.4% to €3.18bn, while total withdrawals rose by 21.6% to €1.61bn.
Sports betting stakes rose by 5.8% to €5.35bn, leading to revenue rising by 6.8% to €940m. The number of active player accounts went up by 30%.
Despite covid-19 lockdowns €663m was staked on events in France, leading to a €6.6m contribution to betting rights duties. However, the cancellations that did occur due to the pandemic meant that overall, there was a 23.7% decline on staking on French events compared to 2019.
Horse racing revenue rose by 30.6% to €354m, with stakes up by 32.7% to €1.47bn. The number of active accounts also rose by 4.8% to 628,000, which in turn resulted in growth in horse racing levies, up 23.4% to €179m.
Revenue from online poker saw a marked 64.0% rise to €446m, with the number of accounts growing by 53.1% to 1.8 million.
“The turnover of the sector grew by 22% in 2020 to reach €1.7bn: its highest level in a calendar year since the opening of the sector”, the regulator said.