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Pari Mutuel Urbain to Separate Online & Land-Based Liquidity

Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU), the French state-owned betting conglomerate, is moving to wall off its land-based and online enterprises. It’s a huge move that’s motivated by market competition and could seriously shake up the French gaming market.

PMU’s online wing has always been able to count on solid liquidity thanks to its connection to 11,000 land-based points of service. Those betting stands did around €8.5 billion ($10.8 billion US) in 2012. All told, PMU (online and land-based) has a choke hold on about 85% of the French gambling market.

While severing the land line could mean tough times for PMU, it’s great news for the gambling giant’s competition, particularly Betclic Everest – France’s biggest online sports betting operation. Betclic lodged a complaint with the French Competition Authority last year claiming that PMU had an unfair advantage over private firms.

As part of the break, and to keep legal battles to a minimum, PMU will be offering some private companies a pipeline to its massive liquidity.

PMU’s liquidity break is expected to take around two years. In the meantime, watch for plenty of movement in the Gaul gambling market.

Do you think PMU’s liquidity break will shake up the French igaming market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.