French gambling liberalises?

Various French gambling companies were manouevring for strong positioning when the French gambling liberalises early next year. Examples of companies involved in a number initiatives included the Cyberarts and NYX Interactive deals with state monopoly Francaise des Jeux for online poker and bingo respectively. These were preceded by news that the French horseracing monopoly Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) had signed an agreement with Tote Ireland allowing account holders to bet into live pools on French racing, a deal that could benefit Betfair due to its relationship with Tote Ireland in respect of online betting.

Pari Mutuel Urbain was in the headlines again as the week ended on the news that the giant organisation is considering an entry into sportsbetting in the new French dispensation. PMU's chief operating officer Xavier Hurstel confirmed the interest to, commenting that a new offering was under development which would enable the PMU to broaden its offering to include betting on major sports such as football.

Hurstel also revealed that the horseracing monopoly has acquired an interest in race information provider Genycourses to improve its access to online betting information, although he added that he was not aware of any other immediate plans for further partnerships, although many companies in the market were holding discussions.

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