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French casino trade union urges specific terms on FDJ sale

fdj sale
The organisations highlight that they are very often the largest employer in their community.

The casino trade union urged the government to carry out the sale of Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) on specific terms.

France.- The French government is planning to privatise the state-owned Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) by the end of 2019. Three casino organisations in the country sent a joint statement to the government in which they ask clarification on whether they will still be able to have exclusivity on French casino games once they privatise FDJ.

Three organisations signed the letter: Casinos de France, which represents Barrières, Tranchant ou encore Joa and independent groups, Casinos modernes de France, representing Partouche Group and independent establishments, and Casinos indépendants de France, in charge of 40 member institutions.

The organisations say that the way in which current regulations are written creates confusion on what will be conceded to the FDJ after its privatisation. They urge the government that it explicitly and precisely stipulates that the future gaming offering of FDJ does not include casino games, and therefore slot machines and online casino games.

The letter says that they believe that the installation of FDJ terminals to play games related to casino games would have serious consequences for their business. They highlight that they are very often the largest employer in their community.

Moreover, the professional organisations said that French casinos delivered gross product of €2.3 billion last year. “French casinos play a large part in the budget of local authorities and the state, via direct levy on games, the average in 2018 amounted to 54% of the PBJ, a total amount of €1.25 billion,” they said.

The privatisation

Last year, the French Assembly approved the sale of the 72% share in FDJ owned by the state under certain conditions. The lower house will require new regulations for the industry in all its levels and a new authority to regulate it. The latter requirement is due to concerns over organisations suffering from “double guardianship” as, currently, there are three regulatory bodies in France.

With a new authority, overlapping in regulation would end. However, it would still have to ensure that new FDJ owners comply with French fundraising, civic and social responsibility duties and standards.

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