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French Prize-Money Up 3% As Betting Booms
In France, a 3% increase in prize-money for racing "has been confirmed as quarterly figures published by the Pari Mutuel Urbain (off-course tote) suggest France's betting boom has continued into 2011," reported racingpost.com. Figures released this week "show total PMU turnover up by 8.3% at €2.58 billion (A$3.56m) for the initial 3 months of this year, with the 12-month figure on course to hit €10 billion (A$13.8m) for the 1st time this year. While this shows the PMU to be in excellent health in the teeth of a worldwide economic downturn, it is also good news for horseracing in France, which receives approximately 8% of the turnover." PMU chairman & managing director Philippe Germond noted: "The shareholders were very worried about the opening up of the on-line market & now the PMU is number one for on-line betting on racing. . . . . When it comes to sports betting, we have 15% of the on-line market." While the majority of PMU betting "is carried out at 11,000 outlets throughout France, there are now approximately 500,000 on-line clients". During the 1st quarter of this year, internet clients wagered €317.6 million (A$438m) - a 57% increase compared to a similar period the year before.