Consultation period for PMU online-offline split over
Online betting operators licensed in France have submitted their feedback to the country’s Competition Authority in reference to the splitting up of Pari Mutuel Urbain’s online and offline activities.
The Authority will assess all stakeholder feedback and hold consultation hearings in order to change or add to the amendments and comments supplied, it should then announce the guidelines it expects PMU to follow in the next two to three months with regard to carrying out the effective separation of its online and offline businesses.
The consultation period followed the Authority’s announcement in October that PMU, Europe’s leading horse racing pari mutuel company and overwhelming online tote in France with 86.4% market share, had agreed to separate its online and offline activities, a move private operators believe will make the working environment more even and competitive.
PMU’s decision to agree to the on-offline split is a result of Betclic Everest Group asking the Competition Authority to look into its complaints of unfair competition against PMU in early 2012. PMU will then have two years to implement the changes under monitoring from the Authority starting from the date of the final guidelines early next year.
PMU currently pools the bets it records through its 12,000 retail outlets with those it takes through its pmu.fr website, which competitors say gives it a massive and unfair advantage when it comes to the prize pools it can promote and player numbers. The company recorded offline stakes of €8.4bn and €972m online in 2012.