French report says gambling is declining but problem gambling is increasing

A recent report from the French Government about Franco gambling habits is chock full of bad news for operators. The report, titled, LES PROBLEMES LIES AUX JEUX D’ARGENT EN FRANCE, EN 2019 (Problems Related to Games of Money in France 2019) suggests that, overall, gambling is down in France, but problem gambling is increasing. Even worse, online gambling looks to be a much bigger driving force towards problem gambling than land-based (but, as the report points out, no sector is truly blameless).

The report is the work of the Observatoire des jeux (ODJ), a French governmental agency that’s been monitoring Franco gambling habits and drew on responses from 10,000 people. Of those 10,000 people, approximately 4,700 of them acknowledged gambling in 2019. When the report was last done, 2014, 5,700 respondents had gambled in the previous year.

So fewer people in France are gambling? That must mean that fewer people are having to deal with gambling problems, right? Wrong. According to the survey, about 1,600 of those folks displayed signs of a gambling problem. That’s more than twice as many as showed signs in the previous survey. If the survey is accurate, that means that there are around 370,000 problem gamblers in France right now.

Around 710 respondents said they’d gambled online in 2019, which is a pretty big boost from the 420 who said they’d done it in 2014. Unfortunately that cohort of players was twice as likely as their land-based peers (which included lottery and scratch ticket players) to show signs of problem gambling.

This particular report covers only 2019 (aka, the good old days), so it would be interesting to see what next year’s report looks like.