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Sports betting surges in France on the back of World Cup triumph


HOT on the heels of Les Bleus’ incredible performance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, France is one of many countries in which sports betting is on the rise.

France online gambling regulator ARJEL last Friday released figures showing the country’s online sports betting operators posted wagers amounting €995m in the three months ending September 30. The country recorded its biggest rise in eight years.

Despite the figures being below the €1.002 billion posted in the second quarter, it was an 81 per cent increase on the first quarter. It is also the highest gain year-on-year since the introduction of the regulated market in 2010.

The third quarter of 2018 received €149m in sports betting revenue, a 40% increase compared to the third quarter of 2017. The increase was due to the average weekly rise in bettors by 84% to 553,000 during the second half of the World Cup.

From July 1, wagering on the 14 World Cup matches totalled €163.7m, about 16% of the third quarter’s betting handle.

The World Cup’s final match between Croatia and France also posted a betting turnover of €38.5m, setting a new record of the highest single-match total in the regulated market’s history. It surpassed a previous record of €12.7m during the final match of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.

Other Q3 wagering benefitted from the World cup season by growing 51% compared to the previous year, higher than the rate recorded in the first half of 2018.

The French Ligue 1 posted a 40% increase in turnover, while the Ligue 2, reported a 53% rise. The English Premier League rose by 68%, Spanish La Liga by 40% and the Italian Serie A by 51%.

With tennis, being the second biggest wagering sport in France, it received a turnover increase of almost double in the Q3 to €258.4m. However, basketball plummeted 36% to €15m.

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