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More Bets On Horse Racing Thanks To Online Casinos

Betting on sports activities is a popular activity and especially the online casinos benefit from its popularity. In many online casinos it's possible to wager on your favorite sports-team or person. In France, the PARI Mutual Urbain (PMU), the French off-track betting organization, operates its own online casinos, where players can bet on their horse races. Thanks to these online casinos, the PMU has seen an enormous increase in profits in the last year.

The PMU had a 6% raise in revenue in 2005, from €7.4 billion in 2004 to €8 billion in 2005, despite a number of races being cancelled at the end of the year due to bad weather conditions. The bets made in the online casinos of PMU are the main reason for the growth in revenue in the past year. The figures of 2005 have beaten the forecasts of 5% increase of profits. In the last four years, the sales of the PMU increased with 30%, due to the increasing popularity of sports betting in online casinos.

The final profit figures of PMU are not yet made public, but in 2004, the PMU posted a net profit of €156 million, an increase of 12% compared to 2003. The sales went up with 7.6% in 2004.

The PMU is a mutual that shares its profits with the 73 companies. These companies organize horse races all around France and are Europe's leading off-track online casinos betting group and the number 2 in the world, after Japan.

Where did all their money go? About €5.8 billion was paid out in winnings, mostly to the gamblers of their online casinos (72, 5% of the bets made in the online casinos, was paid out to 6.5 million players). This year showed that betting on horseracing is still very popular and that there is room for growth. According to the PMU, in 2005, 1.5 million gamblers (mostly from online casinos) made their first bet on horses in the last three years.

The total French market for gambling, including offline and online casinos had a sales total of €35 billion in 2004. Big parts of these sales were made by Francaise des Jeux, the organizer of the French National Lottery and retailer of millions of scratch cards, and the PMU itself.

Francaise des Jeux and the PMU, regularly advertise on the television with new products, trying to keep the customers interested and attract new players. This way they try to compete with online casinos from outside of France, that want to steal their players.

Francaise des Jeux attracted 350,000 new players for their online casinos in 2005, with almost 280,000 winners sharing €35 million in winnings. Three of their players won €1 million.

A spokesperson of PMU stated that their they had an online sales of €250 million last year, a big increase from € 43 million in 2004, which was the first year the company offered bets on the internet, through online casinos.


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