record stakes during the Football World Cup but no hype – Liberation

2022 World Cup in Qatardossier

Nearly 600 million euros were bet in France on the World Cup in Qatar, a figure up 56% compared to 2018. However, the National Gaming Authority notes that the advertisements were generally better framed during the competition.

Football competitions follow one another and the results are similar. After a record 2018 World Cup and Euro 2021, the amounts wagered on online bets on the 2022 World Cup have reached new heights. From November 20 to December 18, 597 million euros were played in France on Qatari meetings, reveals this Thursday the National Games Agency (ANJ) in a press releasespeaking of a “record performance for a competition of this scale”. For the final alone, the stakes reached 51 million.

Stakes are up 56% compared to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 37% compared to Euro 2021. By adding bets made at FDJ points of sale, the figures for which will be communicated mid -February, the total could have exceeded 900 million euros. In detail, 54 million bets were made in France during the competition, more than double than in 2018, for an average amount of 11 euros per bet. Overall, 70% of bettors lost money during the World Cup, 23% have a positive balance sheet, 6% are in balance and 1% have won more than 10 times their bet.

These figures should nevertheless be seen in an overall context of slowing growth in online sports betting in France. Over one year, the increase in the amounts wagered is only 2.5%. This is less than the 7% of 2020, the year when sports competitions were however weighed down by the Covid. And this is much less than the 44% increase in 2021. Moreover, while the World Cup unsurprisingly boosted account creations (+177,000 new players in one month), this remains well below 2018 (+232,000).

Better regulated advertising

In its statement, the ANJ also emphasizes advertising. In everyone’s opinion, and the ANJ first, Euro 2021 had been the competition of all excesses. Advertisements for bets were everywhere, on TV, on the Internet or in the streets, and particularly oppressive. They very often targeted young people from the suburbs, a more vulnerable public likely to fall into addiction, suggesting that enrichment was at hand by betting on football.

To avoid reproducing such excesses, the National Gaming Authority published a long list of prohibitions in early 2022. And just before the World Cup, the 17 authorized sports betting operators in France signed four charters to “moderate advertising pressure and promote responsible advertising”. “A major event, something exceptional”boasted on this occasion to Freed Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, president of the National Gaming Authority.

Three months after these major commitments, it is time for an initial assessment. According to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the ANJ, 55% of French people say they have seen advertisements for sports betting during the competition. A figure slightly higher than Euro 2021 (52%) which is explained in particular by the successful course of the French team which has boosted TV audiences and therefore the possibilities of being confronted with it. In addition, 49% of these people consider sports betting ads “too many” (five points less than in 2021).

“Workaround Strategies”

While it recognizes that advertising pressure has remained “of a high standard”, the ANJ is nevertheless pleased to have seen the contents of the advertisements “to normalize” and the commitments made by the operators “generally respected”. The authority notes in particular “a change of tone” in the advertisements with in particular “less outward signs of wealth or false beliefs about the possibility of changing social status through betting”. Likewise, targeting “flagrant of young people from working-class neighborhoods” seems less frequent.

The authority nevertheless notes that some operators use “workaround strategies”using in particular the sponsorship of sports programs or influencers, as many levers “particularly invasive and popular with young people”. On this subject, a report must be presented in March. It should make it possible to regulate advertising on jerseys, the naming of competitions and the sponsorship of television or radio broadcasts.



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