2023 French gambling market review: momentum confirmed

Le 23.04.2024

In 2023, sales (gross gambling revenue) will reach €13.4 billion, an increase of 3.5% compared with 2022. All market segments have recorded growth in their GGR. After levelling off in 2022, online gambling is growing again. In 2024, operators will have to pay particular attention to the way sports bettors gamble, to ensure that the trend towards increased gambling does not accelerate as a result of a particularly rich sporting calendar.

The French gambling market is continuing to grow, after a temporary dip following the Covid-19 health crisis. The year 2023 saw the highest level of activity, with GGR of €13.4 billion. For the first time since 2019, all market segments recorded growth in GGR, although there were significant disparities between segments, ranging from +0.9% to +14.1%. With growth of 3.5%, France is slightly below the European market growth rate of 5.5% (€134bn in GGR).


Monopolies (FDJ and PMU) account for 62.7% of total GGR


FDJ (Française des jeux) sets a new business record, with GGR reaching €6.6 billion, up 1.8% on 2022.

In 2023, approximately 27 million French people are FDJ players, representing a 6% increase compared to 2022.

Retail sports betting and non-monopoly gambling activities are the main drivers of this growth, with GGR up 10.4% year-on-year. GGR from these activities, which account for 16.2% of the Group's total GGR, reached €1,076m.

In the third quarter of 2023, the Group integrated the operator Zeturf, which is active in the online sports and horse betting segments. It is now present in all online gambling segments.

PMU's horse betting business grew in 2023 but at a slower pace, with stakes and GGR coming in at €6.8bn and €1.7bn respectively (i.e. +1% compared to 2022). Business will thus return to its 2019 level, the last reference year before the health crisis.

With a view to boosting its business, PMU (Paris Mutuel Urbain) has sought to make its offering more dynamic during 2023, with changes to five of its products, and has optimised its racing calendar.


Casinos: a growth sector for the vast majority of establishments


For this second "normal" year after the health crisis, casino activity grew by 8.1%, enabling the sector to reach a record level of revenue with a GGR of €2.7 billion in 2023. This performance concerns the majority of casinos: 73.8% of establishments have returned to a higher GGR level than in 2019. Slot machines continue to make the largest contribution to casinos' gross gambling revenue (over 80%).

Business at the 7 gaming clubs continued to grow between 2022 and 2023, with GGR up 10.9%, from €107.3m in 2022 to €119m in 2023.


Online gambling market on the rise after a year of stabilisation in 2022


Total online gross  reached €2.3 billion, up 7.2% compared with 2022, a year marked by moderate growth of 0.8% compared with 2021.  The online market represents a 17.5% market share.

The online market is driven by sports betting (63.3% of online GGR), followed by poker (21.6% of online GGR) and horse betting (15.1% of online GGR).

The number of unique players reached 3.6 million, an increase in all segments except sports betting.


Online sports betting: still a buoyant segment despite a shrinking pool of players


Once again, this year, online sports betting remains the most heavily invested segment of the market.  At the end of 2023, 16 licensed operators shared the market.

Despite a year without any major sporting events, online sports betting saw its GGR grow by 6. 4% compared with 2022, reaching €1.5 billion, with bets up by 2.2% (€8,490 million).

 The same calendar effect appears to have led to a decrease in the pool of unique players (-7.3%) and the number of active player accounts (-3.9%), after several years of continuous growth in the number of players since 2019.

The decrease in the number of players coupled with the increase in stakes leads to an increase in the average stake per player account of around 6. 3% (€1,864 to €1,982), which may induce more intensive gambling practices. In 2024, operators will have to pay particular attention to changes in bettors’ gambling practices to ensure that the trend towards intensification does not accelerate and ultimately result in an increase in the number of excessive gamblers.

Of the 44 sports open to betting in France, 4 in particular stand out in terms of the amounts staked: football (€4,443m stakes), tennis (€1,923m), basketball (€899m) and rugby (€247m, with stakes increasing in September and October during the World Cup). In 2023, these 4 sports alone will account for 88.5% of online sports betting stakes. Since 2021, this figure has been declining, due to continued growth in other sports (including volleyball, ice hockey, badminton, handball, etc.).


Online horserace betting returns to growth


2023 was a good year for online horserace betting, with a GGR of €353m, up 1.9%, and a stake level of €1,513m, also up 5.1%. Player accounts were up by 4.5% and the number of unique players by 1.5%. These figures show that horserace betting is attracting new players who, unlike sports betting, are more loyal to one operator (1.2 accounts per player compared with 1.4 for sports betting).


A strong upturn in poker activity, surpassing the records set during the health crisis


2023 saw record results, surpassing the peak reached in 2020. The segment's GGR reached €504m, up 14. 1% on 2022. The combined activities of multi-table tournaments (MTTs)[1] and Sit&Go[2]  accounted for more than 77% of the GGR.

Over the period 2019-2023, the average annual growth rate (AAGR) of the GGR is 16.6%.

The number of player accounts is also set to grow by 7.7% compared with 2022, with 1.9M.


For Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN, President of the ANJ: " This healthy market demonstrates that strict regulation is not an obstacle to development. This growth makes the objective of reducing the number of excessive gamblers, which the ANJ has placed at the heart of its action for the coming years, all the more relevant. In a 2024 context marked by the organisation of two major sporting events (Euro 2024 football and the Paris Olympic Games), the ANJ has reminded operators that, because of the risk of gambling practices intensifying, they will have to exercise increased vigilance with regard to the prevention of underage gambling and gambling behaviour, particularly among vulnerable people (especially 18-24 year olds). "


[1] Multi-table tournament (MTT): Poker tournaments starting at set times/days, regardless of the number of players.

[2 ] Sit&Go: Games that start when the number of players required to start the game is reached.