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   Saturday, July 13 2024 
ACF Poker and WPT withdrew from the French i-poker market - France

While France’s poker industry is experiencing turmoil with the shutdown of the Paris-based gambling club “ACF”, the situation worsened with ACF Poker’s virtual poker room withdrawing from the market. The court-ordered liquidation of the “Aviation Club de France” has led the group to close its online poker platform. Since 2013, local i-gaming market has been walking through difficulties as the WPT also decided to take the same path: pulling its services out of France. The two gaming franchises are just a tiny part of the rooms that have already given up operating in the country: Titan Poker, Full Tilt Poker, 888Poker and Chilipoker are among them. At the time when online poker market in France was grey coloured, the industry was booming. That dynamism somewhat fueled the desire of France’s online gambling regulatory authority “ARJEL” to bolster its control over the market. Accordingly, internet-based poker was regulated in 2010. However, the industry has brought in very mediocre revenue figure since then. Worse, fewer and fewer players join legit i-poker platforms.

France’s online poker has steadily declined since 2013. This downward trend is mirrored in the Q1 2015’s revenue report. The new tax legislation is thought to be the cause of the revenue slump. On year-on-year basis, the number of active accounts plummeted from 263,000 in 2014 to 246,000 this year, a decrease of 12% in cash games and 5% in tournament. Stakes in cash games fell by 15% to € 1.02 billion this year against € 1.20 billion in Q1 2014. While entry-fee figure rises, from 407 million the previous year to € 426 million, it has failed to cushion the drop. In fact, the country’s overall Gross Gaming Revenue shrinks from € 65 million to € 61 million this year.

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