1.1 Presentation and definition of the sports betting market
A sports bet is a wager on a sporting result, given odds (a coefficient used to calculate the potential payout). If the bet is right, the bettor receives the expected winnings, otherwise he loses his stake. In France, sports betting is reserved for adults. Sports betting has existed in France since the late 19th century, with the development of horse racing and the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU). Over the years, betting has diversified, and it is now possible to bet on virtually every type of sport and sporting event around the world. The early 2000s saw the development of online sports betting sites with virtual betting rooms.
There two ways to place sports bets :
- bricks andmortar, in the physical network of Française des Jeux (FDJ)
- online, on the websites of sports betting operators approved by the ANJ (Autorité Nationale des Jeux).
The Autorité Nationale de Jeux (ANJ), the body responsible for regulating betting in France, distinguishes between sports betting and horse betting. This study therefore does not deal with horse betting, although allusions to it will be made in certain sections for comparison purposes.
In France, the sports betting market, in terms of sales generated and stakes placed, has been growing steadily since 2011, making it one of the most dynamic segments of online gambling. In 2022, Gross Gaming Revenue (the difference between the amount wagered by the player and the amount paid out as winnings) grew modestly (3% ), despite the record amounts wagered during the World Cup in Qatar. The vast majority of sports betting customers are male and relatively young (under 35), looking for the best odds (for maximum winnings). Sports betting is also going digital, and is increasingly conducted via applications on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets). Most bets are on soccer, followed by tennis and basketball.
The growing popularity of sports betting is undeniable, and the various operators are waging a fierce battle to win new shares in a relatively concentrated market. Marketing efforts include communication campaigns (partnerships with soccer clubs or TV channels, with sports personalities, etc.) and promotions (notably bonus offers and "boosted" odds). The aim is also to take advantage of major sporting events such as the World Cup and Euro soccer tournaments, key moments for recruiting new punters. During the 2022 World Cup , for example, over 900 million euros were wagered , according to the National Gaming Authority.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on the sports betting market. Indeed, with the cancellation or postponement of several major sporting events (Euro 2020, Summer Olympics, etc.), market growth has been curbed, despite the multiplication of distribution channels.
1.2 A well-established and growing global market
the sports betting market has evolved considerably over the last ** years. The advent of the Internet changed all that. The democratization of online gambling has brought with it strong growth in "brick-and-mortar" betting. The exponentially increasing number of operators, now operating worldwide, have developed a highly attractive offering, covering all sports ...
1.3 Strong growth in the French market
According to the Ligue de Football Professionnel, sales in the online sports betting market correspond to the total amount of bets. The chart below shows market trends over the period ****-****:
Growth in the size of the online sports betting market France, **** - ****, in millions of euros Source: ****
Thus, the size ...
1.4 The impact of the health crisis
However, the sports betting market could be held back by the fact that sports betting is still considered an illegal activity in some parts of the world. In addition, the recent outbreak of the new coronavirus is likely to be a major factor inhibiting market growth in the short term, as ...
2.1 Profile of the sports bettor
As for the typical gambler's profile, a study by theANJ establishes that he "is a man (***).
Still for the year ****, the ANJ provides the following demographic data concerning the profile of bettors: the median age is ** and the average age **. Only **% of punters are women. There were *,***,*** unique players this year, ...
2.2 An upward trend in the number of bets, players and stakes
Since the advent of online sports betting, the craze for the practice has continued to grow, and the lure of winning that drives gamblers can be seen on three levels:
- the French are betting more and more
- they are betting ever greater sums
- more and more people are ...
2.3 Demand drivers: the predominance of soccer
As explained above, the distribution of bets depends on the competitions taking place in the various sports. Nevertheless, there are unmistakable trends regarding the most popular sports on which players prefer to bet:
Breakdown of bets by sport France, ****, in Source: ****
In ****, soccer has maintained its position as the most popular ...
2.4 Demand trends: the lure of profit as the main motivation
Logically enough, the prospect of winnings remains the main reason for betting activity in France. The following graph describes this trend, as well as other motivations for betting:
"Which criterion motivates you most when you bet online on matches?" France, ****, in Source: ****
Almost half of the punters surveyed consider the ...
3.1 Online sports betting market value chain
In France, the sports betting market has two main distribution channels: physical and online. These two networkstwo networks comprise ** licensed operators regulated by the ANJ acrossn all of France. A distinction is therefore made between betting carried out :
By internet, with online bets placed on the platforms and websites of online ...
3.2 A highly concentrated market
As we'll see in the regulations section, the sports betting market is highly regulated, and only ANJ-approved organizations are entitled to operate on French territory. Nevertheless, since the market was opened up to competition in ****, the number of accreditations has steadily increased:
growth in the number of sports betting licences France, ...
3.3 A large illegal sports betting market
Although it is difficult to accurately assess the size of the black market in sports betting, a report published by the LFP estimates that over **% of bets are made illegally. In some countries, "street" betting is very widespread (***) and culturally deeply rooted. In addition, every country in the world is confronted ...
4.1 Sports betting typology
There are many different ways to place sports bets in France. In this section, we'll take soccer as an example, as this sport accounts for the majority of sports bets, and it would take far too long to draw up an exhaustive list of all existing bets. What's more, the vast ...
4.2 An offer promoted by intensive marketing
Despite an increase in the main indicators on the sports betting market, the reputation of this practice seems to have deteriorated since ****. The same survey conducted by Odoxa with Winamax in **** and **** shows the changing image of sports betting among the French:
The image of sports betting sites France, ****, in Source: ...
4.3 Supply trends: partnerships with content creators and bonuses
To target a younger audience, online sports betting operators often call on content creators/influencers. ** of the ** online operators called on ** content creators during the **** World Cup. This relatively recent strategy is known as influencer marketing. Among the personalities approached, ** had between *.*k and **k subscribers on at least ...
5.1 Regulatory framework
On the eve of the kick-off of the soccer World Cup on June *, ****, online sports betting was opened up to competition and legalized. This activity is supervised by the ANJ , which is responsible for issuing licences to online betting operators and monitoring their activity.
The sports betting market is subject to ...
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