The French casino trade union ‘ Casinos de France’ has written to the En Marche government to demand its planned sale of Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) (the state-owned gambling / lottery operator), be carried out on specific terms that do not hinder national casino incumbents.
The trade union, which represents employees operating across forty private / independent French casino operators including Groupe Barrière, Partouche and Tranchant, says that FDJ’s sale must not include any conditions enabling its customer to serve’ Article-D (321-13)’ games.
Under France’s current gambling code, Article-D games refer to inventory and slot machines in the casino style, making no clear distinction between land-based and digital verticals. In addition, regardless of player percentage payouts, these games are categorized as’ difficult material.’
Writing to En Marche, Casinos de France’s governance requires that its terms of sale stipulate that FDJ buyers are unable to service content on difficult games across FDJ terminals and their network of stores.
The trade union highlights ‘ FDJ’s + 30,000 retail point network,’ emphasizing that 200 French casinos would be subjected to ‘encroachment by a new buyer’ without this written demand, who could simply add casino content to FDJ terminals, threatening their members’ perspective and results.
Casinos de France concludes its declaration by pointing out that it will challenge any threat to France’s land-based casino industry, reminding En Marche of French Casinos ‘ jobs, business and cultural advantages.
⠀“45,000 jobs including 15,000 direct, 60 million visitors, 500 cultural events supported financially, 350 bars and 300 restaurants in the casinos as well as 300 performance and reception halls employing 20,000 intermittent performers, 50 hotels, 35 discotheques, 34 bowling / cinemas, financial support and active development of tourism sector,” it said.
Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, expressed trust this August that En Marche would sell FDJ by the end of 2019, fulfilling a main directive of the government’s enterprise mandate ‘ Pacte Loi.’