Figures released by French online gaming regulator ARJEL have confirmed the continuing trend of online sports bettors abandoning their accounts in their thousands, with 70,000 fewer accounts recorded in the final quarter of 2011 versus the previous year.This is in contrast with horse race betting and poker which continue to attract new players.

The combination of a poor rate of return to players (82 per cent), limited range of betting options and a halving of operators’ marketing expenditure contributed to a 23 per cent year-on-year fall in sports betting stakes in the fourth quarter of 2011 to €154m, with gross gaming revenues down 10 per cent to €28m and the number of active user accounts down 17 per cent.

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