French monopoly reports internet betting up 22%

The French monopoly Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) gave another insight into the potential of the French online betting market this week when it released its latest annual results, showcasing a 22% increase in online betting to a creditable €661 million for the year 2009.

The figure may be relatively small in relation to PMU's overall turnover, which was up slightly to €9.3 billion, but is a useful indicator of the possibilities inherent in a liberalised French online gambling market.

Overall group profit fell almost 1% in the year to €731 million, reflecting higher costs associated with ventures such as its Equidia horse racing TV channel.

PMU chairman and managing director Philippe Germond described the results as "satisfactory" given the French economy and "the amount wagered with illegal operators." He added: "The goal is to make PMU one of the top three French (web)sites for sports betting."

The company's report shows that the French government received €1.1 billion from the PMU in tax income over the year, and that PMU plans to enter the fixed-odds sports betting and online poker sectors once the market has been liberalised, hopefully this June. In preparation for such an eventuality the company has partnered up with UK Internet betting groups PaddyPower, Orbis and Party Gaming.

The PMU report reveals that the group has an active online player base of around 300,000.

Source: InfoPowa News