All eyes on En Marche fulfilling its FDJ sale in 2019

Publishing its full-year 2018 accounts, French state-owned operator Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) has reported ‘a record year in business’ supported by an enhanced lottery portfolio and digital improvements.

Updating the media and stakeholders, FDJ governance reports a record corporate turnover of €15.8 billion (+4.4%), of which €12.8 billion (+1%) was attributed to its flagship FDJ LOTO division.

In its update, FDJ governance detailed that its lottery services had benefited from an expanded games selection featuring a strong take-up of new instant-win titles, with FDJ LOTO further optimised by strengthened retail distribution channels.

FDJ reports that in 2018 it has distributed €10.7 billion in winnings to customers, with 198 French citizens becoming millionaires, whilst further raising €25 million for the French Heritage Foundation, a figure that the government has promised it will double.

As anticipated following its August update, the FDJ SPORTIF (sports betting) division reported its best year to date recording a turnover of €3 billion, supported by significant digital improvements and strong customer engagement during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 tournament.

Speaking to French business news sources, FDJ Chief Executive Stéphane Pallez stated that FDJ products and services were beginning to reap the rewards of the firm’s ‘2020 strategy’, originally implemented in 2015.

Pallez further detailed that the French state-owned enterprise was on track to fulfil her leadership directive of becoming ‘fully digitised asset’, with FDJ launching newly enhanced customer loyalty programmes for LOTO and SPORTIF divisions in early 2019.

Moving forward, industry analysts will be monitoring FDJ movements closely, with regards to the En Marche government fulfilling its agreed mandate to sell the state-owned 75% stake in the gambling enterprise.

The French Assembly has approved the FDJ sale as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s Enterprise & Innovation’ programme, with the state divesting holdings in national assets including – Airports, rail management and postal services.

Nevertheless, in order to fulfil its FDJ sale, En Marche has been instructed to develop a new regulatory code satisfying all stakeholders of French connected to gambling/betting, including the Treasury Department, France’s racing authority and multiple French agricultural bodies… Pointing to a tough undertaking for an embattled government in 2019.

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