France opens competition in online games ushering in new markets, market players and value chains
In mid-2010, France will open market competition to online gambling and casinos. The market is opening as European law evolves and responds to the growing number of illegal Internet sites. The ensuing new legal scope targets quality-based competition versus price-oriented competition, especially to contain addictive behaviours, and more specifically, money laundering. Concommitantly, the game market is creating new value chains, including media and telecommunications groups.
In the short term, the historic players (Française des Jeux, the government owns a 72% and appoints directors and PMU, an economic group comprising the 51 associations which organize horse races) are key players in the new landscape, with the long term horizon pointing to major changes.
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