A group of land-based casinos in France has called upon the government to ensure that La Française des Jeux (FDJ) would not be allowed to offer casino games once the market is privatized.
The three associations of land-based casinos – Casinos de France, Syndicat des Casinos Modernes de France and the Association des Casinos Indépendants Français (ACIF) – in a joint open letter to the government called for clarification on the types of gambling offerings which the FDJ would be allowed to make post-privatization.
The joint letter pointed out that at present in Code de Sécurité Intérieure, there is no distinction made between online and land-based casino games.
“A decline in the gross proceeds of French casinos – which amounted to €2.3bn in 2018 – caused by this potential new competition would heavily impact the local economies of tourist communities,” the letter reads.
The letter also said that the French casinos provide for budgets of local authorities and the state, with an average tax of 54.39% of gambling gross proceeds. It said that the casinos in France paid €1.3bn in taxes last year.
The French government via its investment arm L’Agence des Participations de l’État (APE) is planning to sell the majority of its 72% stake in FDJ. The privatization is expected to take place by the end of November 2019.
Earlier this year, the sports betting sector in France recorded a massive 52 percent year-on-year increase in revenue for the first quarter.