Charles Coppolani, the new president of French online gaming regulator ARJEL, blamed the continuing slide of the French online poker market on Europe’s financial crisis, but also on a cooling of interest in the online game.
Speaking with the French financial newspaper Les Échos, Coppolani said he feels the market for online poker in the country has matured.
The “first element” in the decline, Coppolani said, is the European financial crisis, but he added that poker “has difficulty recruiting new players” and that the game is too complicated for a “rather young audience.”
“The fad is over,” he stated. “Basically, the online poker market may be mature.”
The French online poker market has fallen by around 15 percent in the last two years. Some have advocated France allowing player bases to be shared with other jurisdictions, but French lawmakers have shot down that idea. The country has also been criticized for overtaxing online sites.
Coppolani says he plans to focus on non-French licensed operators targeting the market.
“Player protection is an ongoing priority,” he said.