Sports betting is definitely not just a North American thing. Players have been betting on soccer, golf and other sports all over the world for a long time, but some countries are still a little behind as they figure out how to legislate it. But once they get it, sports betting can be a major boost to the economy.
France has regulated their online sports betting and in 2015, they saw an increase of 4% because of it. Considering that 2014 was a World Cup year in which high numbers were expected, the increase is even bigger as more players are now using their smartphones and tablets to make bets, instead of keeping it to laptops and personal computers. The year really took off in the last quarter, when betting went up 40%, which should make for a solid 2016. Online sports betting is now bigger in France than horse racing, while online poker playing has taken a bit of a hit; it only increased by 1% in 2015. This just means more money for France.
And it should only get better as more and more people use their phones and tablets to make bets, and players who were curious about it before will now go ahead and give it a try. For example, players looking to bet on the Tour de France this year are probably going to get on the train as it is more mainstream, which means players are more protected and France is going to benefit from this financial windfall.