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Record year for gambling in France

Financial crisis pushes up profits at bookies and national lottery

FRENCH households are spending a record amount of money on gambling during the economic crisis, a new survey has found.

Research by Agence France-Presse has found people are spending 24% more on gambling than they were seven years ago - a total of almost €60m a day.

La Française des Jeux, which runs the Loto and sells Euromillions tickets in France, reported an 8.6% rise in takings in 2009 compared with the previous year, at €10bn. Bookmaker PMU saw revenues rise 0.4% to €9.3bn.

The findings do not include online gambling - and come ahead of a move by the French government to open up gambling legislation to include websites offering sporting bets, horse racing and poker.

The reform was originally due to come into force in time for June’s football World Cup in South Africa, but has been delayed.

The government hopes that making online gambling legal will make it easier to fight money-laundering, keep minors out of the market and protect consumers from addiction.

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