The French Competition Authority has imposed a fine of 900,000 euros on the French horse racing giant Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) for having infringed the competition rules by not separating its online and in-person betting services.
Online gambling and betting have been open to competition since 2010, while betting at points of sale is still the monopoly of PMU, the authority said in its press release.
The Authority considered that the PMU did not respect its commitment made in 2014 “to separate its masses of hard and online stakes for foreign races subject to a joint mass partnership between the PMU and several foreign operators.”
Recalling also that the PMU currently has five “common mass” partnerships with foreign operators concerning South African, Irish, American, Norwegian and Swedish races, it specifies that, “if it remains possible for the PMU to conclude partnerships on foreign races, these must not result in the merger of its online uploads and its hard uploads, under legal monopoly, in order to respect the commitment made.”
It considers that “even if, in the present case, joint foreign races constitute only a limited part of the PMU’s horse racing betting activity, the breach is all the more serious since the commitment to separate the masses of issues was at the heart of the system aimed at preventing the PMU from making its pmu.fr site benefit from the importance of the masses of issues collected in its network of physical points of sale.”