02/09/2012 : BETCLIC FILES COMPETITION COMPLAINT AGAINST PMU
Smaller operators cry foul against former monopoly
Online gaming company Betclic has filed a claim of unfair competition against Pari Mutuel Urbaine (PMU) with the French Competition Authority, according to French journal Les Echos.
PMU currently dominates the horse race betting sector in the French market with an 85 percent share according to French regulatory authority ARJEL, followed by Zeturf holding 10 percent and other smaller operators whose share was described as marginal.
The claim roots itself in a long running debate on the advantages the former-French monopoly PMU was perceived to have had going into the newly regulated market.
The European Gaming and Betting Association recommended at the time of opening the new regulatory environment that PMU be compelled to use different branding other than during its pre-regulatory monopoly activities as well as make changes to the pooling of stakes on complex bets. The PMU's relationship with major French racecourses was also touched upon.
Jean-Francois Vilotte, president of ARJEL remarked in the regulatory body's latest French online gaming market report that the gap between PMU and other operators "is a problem of competition law". He further indicated that he had forwarded these concerns on to the Competition Authority.