FDJ’s “Monopolistic” Practices Called Out By French Casino Groups

Updated On Jan 19, 2024 by Petar Markoski

Française des JeuxSummary:

  • France’s largest casino operators denounced FDJ’s expansionary policies
  • The groups allege that FDJ’s recent expansion efforts pose a threat to competition
  • FDJ had reportedly been in talks with the govt. for the possible granting of an exclusive iCasino license

France’s largest casino operators are accusing Française des Jeux (FDJ) of engaging in unfair practices in an attempt to dominate the country’s gambling sector. The casino groups have been skeptical of FDJ’s recent expansion efforts which they allege are jeopardizing market competition.

This week, they escalated their concerns to French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, putting FDJ’s expansionary strategies under the spotlight. The letter comes amid rumors the FDJ could be granted an exclusive iCasino license.

FDJ’s Expansionary Tactics Will Affect Competition

In a letter to PM Attal, which was accessed by French media outlet Les Echos, casino groups Partouche, Tranchant, JOA and Barrière said FDJ now enjoys “monopolistic advantages”, including the ability to offer new games with ease, access without ID, absence of controls at points of sale, in contrast to casinos, and using the same FDJ customer account for both of its monopoly and competitive games.

FDJ holds a monopoly over offline and online lottery games as well as point-of-sale sports betting in France. The group also offers online sports betting. Previously owned by the state, FDJ was privatized in 2019 and has since expanded its operations to include other online offerings, such as online poker which it launched in 2022.

Recently, it acquired the Irish lottery group Premier Lotteries Ireland and the online gaming operator ZETurf which offers sports betting. After acquiring ZETurf, FDJ became the fourth largest online gaming operator in France and is now active in three online segments – sports betting, horse betting and poker.

With FDJ now operating in nearly all gambling verticals in the country, the other major private operators are concerned it would hurt competition.

A similar issue was highlighted by France’s national competition regulator, Autorité de la concurrence, when it reviewed FDJ’s plan to acquire ZETurf. The agency eventually gave the green light after FDJ agreed to implement some changes to its operations, such as separating its monopoly and competitive gaming activities by setting up individual websites and applications for each business unit. Additionally, it would not promote its competitive games to its monopoly customers.

Exclusive iCasino License for FDJ

There are rumors FDJ could obtain an exclusive iCasino license from the government. This remains possible as FDJ, in which the government retains a stake of around 25%, already holds a monopoly in key gambling segments, with the operator also contributing the largest gambling revenue.

Petar is the finance guru, if you need a good investment this is the guy you go to! Working majority of his days in the finance sector as trader, he has gathered plenty of insight on binary options and the forex markets

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