French Lottery and Betting operator Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) now has its shares listed on the stock market. As soon as the share hit the market, it surged to a peak of €23.10 ($25.60) by 10:35 am.
Initially, the shares were made available to institutional investors and the price set was €19.90 as the market opened. But the prices surged and hit €23 each; however, by 11:44am it balanced out at €22.60.
Following the move to privatize, 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 listing of FDJ shares is a part of President Emmanuel Macron’s government’s plan to disinvest government shareholdings and raise funds to strengthen the country’s dwindling economy.
The state expects to raise €2bn for the state budget from the privatization of FDJ.
Last week, the French gambling regulatory L’Autorité de régulation des Jeux en ligne (ARJEL) reported strong Q3 performance. According to the figures released, the gambling regulator posted a 27.7% year-on-year increase in revenue for the third quarter of 2019.
The overall revenue for the quarter ending 30 September 2019 jumped to €346m (£296.0m/$380.7m. Sports betting made a significant contribution with a 9% increase to €1.08bn.
The majority of bets were placed on football which saw €553.0m in wagers. However, the football wagers declined 12% year-on-year despite making over 50 percent of the overall betting handle.