May 21, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – As France prepares to officially open its borders to international online poker industry later this year, the country’s home-grown (and state-run) monopolies are reported to be growing at an impressive rate in anticipation of the new market.

“European gambling markets took a 34% share of world gambling in 2009, with gross gaming yield (GGY) of US$126 billion (€93bn),” states the Global Betting and Gaming Consultants in its latest Global Gambling Report.

The company claims that the entire global gambling market in 2009 was valued at US$370 billion (€272 billion). That makes France’s market bigger than any other save the U.S. and the UK.

“France’s state gambling monopolies both managed to increase their sales in 2009, bucking the overall trend of decline in Europe,” the report continues.

If these numbers are accurate, it would go a long way towards explaining the enthusiasm with which many international online poker and casino operators like PartyGaming and bwin are rushing head-first into the French online gaming market, despite the reportedly steep regulatory costs and fees.

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