French people plan to bet on the upcoming Rugby World Cup in their droves, with 13 percent of the entire adult population predicted to gamble on the event.
The estimate comes from a survey commissioned by the National Gaming Authority (ANJ), which also found that more French people plan to watch the tournament being held in their country than the recent FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
An estimated 25 percent of French people who plan to watch the event intend to bet money on the matches, this figure rises to an estimated 44 percent among 25 to 34 year-olds.
The risk of developing an addiction or dependence associated with sports betting is identified in 84 percent of the French population, according to the ANJ, which is an 11 percent increase compared with before the FIFA World Cup last year.
Due to the likelihood of the event attracting first-time and regular bettors, the ANJ has created a new awareness campaign on public billboards and social media promoting safer gambling tools such as deposit limits.
In 2022, rugby was the fourth most popular sport for French punters, with €176m staked in 2022 on the sport. Football is still by far the most popular sport, with €4.6bn staked on it last year.
Stakes made during this World Cup could range from €85m to €150m as 91 percent of punters say they will be backing France with their bets, meaning the host country's success will have a large impact on the final figure.
Française des Jeux (FDJ), which is still part-owned by the French state, has a monopoly on land-based sports betting in France. There are 18 operators licensed to provide online sports betting in the market.
Bettors are just slightly more likely to bet in person, with 66 percent of bettors saying they will go to a shop to bet on the Rugby World Cup, compared with 64 percent who intend to bet online, according to the survey.
More than 1,000 French people over the age of 18 took part in the online survey that was carried out from August 22 to 24, 2023.