French Competition Authority Fines Pari-Mutuel Urbain €900,000

French Competition Authority Fines Pari-Mutuel Urbain €900,000

The French Competition Authority (FCA) recently fined Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) €900,000 for failing to separate liquidity in its online and retail betting operations.

Internal failings at PMU

According to the FCA, the company has been maintaining separate liquidity for retail and online channels since 2014 but only for domestic events. It failed to create separate pools for international events. The matter was brought to the attention of authorities by online betting firms Betclic and Zeturf after they discovered PMU’s shortcomings in compliance commitments.

French Competition Authority Fines Pari-Mutuel Urbain €900,000

PMU currently offers coverage for horse races in the US, France, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, and South Africa. The online betting firms noted that the retail and online better platforms offer the same odds and prize pools in the international races and fail to keep them segregated.

Did PMU get an unfair advantage?

The authority said that the retail and online betting pools are added together with the money that PMU takes from its overseas partners. These funds are then poured into a single large jackpot. This makes the overseas racing offerings as attractive as the online and retail outlets of the firm. The government suggests that

“This corresponds directly with the situation for French horse race betting before it committed to splitting online and offline liquidity in 2014.”

The FCA also clarified that the 2014 order covered all forms of racing, whether domestic or international and was unambiguous about what it includes.

PMU received an unfair advantage over competition that was offering similar horse racing pools but with segregated funds. The French court has now ordered PMU to pay an unspecific comes nation to Betclic which has suffered because of its anti-competitive activities. The L’Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL), the online gambling regulator in the country, has also supported the decision to fine PMU because of its anti-competitive practices.

The platform is a leader in horse race betting in France and has left Betclic and Zeturf behind in terms of market share. The two companies have been fighting head to head with PMU to gain more space in the market ever since online gambling was regulated in 2010.

PMU is undoubtedly the leader for horse racing betting in France. Competitors such as Zeturf and Betclic have been battling with PMU since the online gambling market was regulated back in 2010.

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Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.