We have just learned at the end of last month that the Française des Jeux will most certainly soon be privatized. A privatization which is therefore progressing well since the end of June and which is, as confirmed by the Minister of the Economy Bruno le Maire, a decision which in fact takes place within the framework of the PACTE project. The PACTE project (Action Plan for Growth and Business Transformation) is an action that will take place soon alongside the privatizations of Aéroports de Paris, but also of Engie.
An announcement in the second quarter
If there is a lot of talk in the media about this project which, as you will read below in this article is in great progress, it is because it was already originally announced for the month of April 2018. The project PACTE law now seems to be ready, or finally almost, because it was then presented on Monday, June 18, indicating that it proposes in particular to privatize several public companies, in particular the Française des Jeux. Which is not a surprise, this firm being particularly profitable and especially responsible for nearly 1% of the annual GDP.
The FDJ among our French neighbors
The FDJ is therefore the organization which has the monopoly on gambling among our French neighbors. It manages with an iron fist dozens of scratch games, but also sports betting and of course the essential and traditional lotteries such as Loto or EuroMillions. It is a firm that all the French people know and which insists more and more on its digital section to continue to conquer more and more new and especially young players.
But if the FDJ is a must in France, it is because it brings every year around € 3 billion to the State. It is an ultra profitable company that offers games with very low payout rates. A peculiarity which is, you will have guessed by now most certainly guessed, not foreign to its benefits.
An opportunity for the State, which owns 72% of the FDJ, to ensure a healthy regular income. But everything will soon be turned upside down with this project which will therefore very soon reduce this share of the pie, just to allow investors to now be able to buy shares in the firm. Obviously, no one is fooled and we can easily imagine that these investors will most certainly be foreigners.
The pact will change the face of the FDJ
We are therefore faced with what should very soon be a new authority to regulate gambling in France. This Pacte bill, which was therefore unveiled on June 18, is likely to change the face of the Française des Jeux.
Today we know even more than at the end of June. We know, for example, that this project paves the way for the transfer of State shares in three companies, which could be privatized. Understand by this that there should therefore soon be a whole new regulatory authority for gambling which could be born in the coming weeks in France. And there will therefore necessarily be a bill to create a new regulatory authority.
On this occasion, a brand new online gaming regulatory authority has just been submitted by MP Olga Givernet to 5 different ministries. She therefore proposed a new law aimed at developing a completely new online gaming regulatory authority. Obviously, this authority will have to be independent and unique.