In an interview conducted by iGaming Business, Julien Brun the General Manager of Unibet France proudly announced that Unibet was able to achieve success with the World Cup event, as the sports betting activities that transpired made the European sports betting company the third top betting site in France.
According to Brun, Unibet’s mobile channel had contributed largely to their World Cup betting feat, giving them an increased share of the French sports betting market. iGaming Business has confirmed that Unibet is making a mark in France’s regulated industry in light of its latest performance, its aggressive stance and familiarity with the French market.
Its current market share is pegged at around 10 to 12 percent, following closely at the heels of Bwin.Party whose market share dropped from 20 percent down to 15 percent. The top leaders are still BetClic, with 36 percent and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) the French state-controlled betting system, with 26 percent.
Unibet takes pride in its latest achievements because in 2010, the European company was constrained to withdraw its operations from France’s wagering arena as the newly installed French regulators suspended Unibet’s trading activities. Yet the sports betting company did not give up but instead made a successful bit to re-enter in 2011, by strategically acquiring the Solfive Group, the parent company to SPS Betting France SAS. In line with the 100 percent acquisition, Unibet came into full-ownership of a wide range of gambling and betting products traded under the brand names EurosportBet and EurosportPoker.
Following the acquisition approval granted by the French regulator Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne (ARJEL), Unibet immediately launched drives to build EurosportBet’s existing share of the French gambling market. At that time, Henrik Tjärnström the CEO of Unibet acknowledged the difficulties they faced in aiming to generate profits under new conditions, with France imposing very restrictive terms, imposing high taxation and limiting product scope.
However, the Unibet CEO was confident that with the company’s strong brand and by making tough decisions to control costs, the company had the likeliest and best opportunity to succeed in a very demanding market. Back then, CEO Tjärnström predicted, “that over the medium term, France will develop a more sustainable model that will better achieve the goals of player protection, fair competition, and reasonable taxation.”
A prediction that is likely to come true as changes are slowly taking shape and taking place, as the spate of withdrawals from the French market had prompted the government to consider amending its regulatory laws, particularly pertaining to tax matters. ARJEL likewise permitted the introduction of new poker variants such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha. Omaha-8, Five Card Stud, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Razz, and mixed games.
Last April, ARJEL disclosed that as of the first quarter of 2014, France’s online sports betting revenue posted a 25 percent increase in turnover. As a whole, France’s sports betting revenue increased by 22 percent or an equivalent of about €54 million, and largely attributable to football betting.