With tight French gambling laws causing more and more online gambling operators to leave the country’s market, it’s nice to know that things are not all bad. The French national lottery operator Francaise des Jeux (FdJ) reported an 8.4 percent jump in annual turnover, managing to reach an impressive figure of 11.4 Billion in 2011.
The company’s impressive performance was largely attributed to lottery, making up for poor results of its sports betting division, which saw one of the worst performances among online sportsbooks in France. The sports betting arm of FdJ lost fifteen percent of its business in 2011. Instant games division saw an 8 percent drop.
FdJ is a 72 percent government owned monopoly and its status has been recently confirmed by two rulings from the highest administrative court in France: Conseil d’Etat. The court received two requests for cancellation in regards to orders within lottery and gaming Acts of 1978 and 1985.
In its decision the State Council relied on a recent EU court ruling, which said: “to ensure a particularly high level of protection of consumers, gambling can be justified in considering that only the grant of exclusive rights to a single subject to tighten the control of public authorities is likely to help control the risks ‘and’ pursue an effective policy against excessive gambling.”
Conseil d’Etat also stated that FDJ’s promotion and marketing budget is limited at 1 percent of its total revenue budget. The monopoly is also limiting the risk of gambling addiction by capping the rate of return to players “at a level significantly lower than other gaming operators.”