Created in 1976, the Française des Jeux (FDJ) is mainly specialized in lotteries, scratch cards and sports betting. For the moment, it is not yet active in the field of horse betting and online poker.
Its current strategy is to remedy this situation.
This is precisely the reason why it is taking a close interest in ZEturf at the moment. It has recently announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with a view to acquiring it.
This recent announcement has led to a 1.85% increase in its share price to €31.94.
The French gaming market in a few figures
According to a study published by the FDJ that focuses on the French market during the year 2021, there were about 27.9 million players, which represents an increase of 9.8% compared to 2020. Among them, 2.53 million were involved in lottery (compared to 23 million in 2020), 6.2 million in sports betting (compared to 5 million), 3.3 million in horse betting (compared to 3 million), 2.1 million in poker (compared to 2 million) and 4.1 million in casino (compared to 4 million).
This report also informs us that the gross gaming revenue in the field of poker has increased by 64% between 2019 and 2020, while the overall French market has fallen from 11.1 billion euros to 10.3 billion.
As for sports betting, which also includes horse racing, it increased by 19.5% per year between 2010 and 2020 with land-based betting up 11.6% and online betting up 27.7%.
ZEturf: second horse betting operator in France with 20% market share
At the moment, the FDJ is looking to diversify its activities. It is therefore very interested in poker and horse betting, which are very popular with players. It is precisely in order to establish itself in the horse racing market that it has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy out ZEturf.
This brand was created in 2001. It is also present in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain and is active in the horse betting sector. In 2021, it has collected nearly 800 million euros in bets. In France, it is the second largest operator with a market share of about 20%.
An acquisition that should further strengthen FDJ’s positions
Originally, FDJ was 72% owned by the French state. In 2018, the government decided to open its capital. This was done in November 2019 with the sale of shares that correspond to 52% of the capital.
In the first 6 months of 2022, the lotteries reported a turnover of 946 million euros, which corresponds to an increase of 17%. If its acquisition of ZEturf becomes effective, its positions should be further strengthened. This is confirmed by the recent rise in its share price.