The sale of the three companies is expected to generate €15 billion for the state. The money is planned to be used for setting up and bulking a government fund for innovation and investment in various industrial projects. The establishment of the innovation fund was part of French President Emanuel Macron’s election pledges.
The privatization of Francaise des Jeux and the other two companies cannot begin before the government passes a special bill on the matter. Regarding the lottery operator, that it is not listed, its privatization will require the creation of a new regulatory body that will oversee the divestment as well as lottery operations conducted in France after the privatization.
The legislative piece was introduced to the government on Monday. However, it will not be before the end of the summer holidays that it will be reviewed and voted on.
Francaise des Jeux has recorded particularly strong performance and increasing sales over the past several years. Sales totaled €15.1 billion last year, up 5.7% from 2016 to confirm the operator’s health ahead of its now inevitable privatization.
The state-run entity sells scratchcards and other lottery products and also runs online lottery and betting operations. Scratchcards generated sales of €7.4 billion last year, up 8% from the previous year. Other lottery products added €5.2 billion to the whole, representing a 5.2% increase from a year earlier. Sports betting contributed the amount of €2.5 billion last year, up 0.3%.
Francaise des Jeux is Europe’s second largest lottery operator, with Italy’s Lottomatica being the only one ahead. It is believed that the state would sell around 50% of the lottery operator to reduce its stake in it to just 22%.
Source: GMB / Casino News Daily