FDJ (formerly La Francaise des Jeux) is France's state-controlled lottery group, Europe's second-largest by revenues (after Lottomatica of Italy), and the global #4. Sales reached a record high in 2019 of €17.2bn, of which over €11.7bn was paid out in prizes, and €3.5bn to public funds and good causes. Some 26.1m players took part over the year, equivalent to around half of the population of France. The group organises a variety of different games including main live televised draw le Loto, and various spin-off draws including Rapido, Joker, Super Loto and Keno, as well as a huge number of instant-win scratch cards marketed under the Illiko brand. A new development for FDJ and other gambling operators has been sports betting, primarily on football, deregulated by the government in 2010. FDJ became the sole operator of retail sports betting. It is also a lead partner in the pan-European EuroMillions draw, and provides consultancy services to other lottery operators worldwide. The group launched an IPO in 2019 of around 20% of its equity to the general public. The French government retains a 22% stake in the business. Veterans associations have around 15%, and the remaining shares are controlled by private equity investors, media partners and employees. At the same time, FDJ expanded its abilities with the acquisition of sports betting technology operator Sporting Group. Stephane Pallez succeeded Christophe Blanchard-Dignac as CEO in 2014. The first French lottery was introduced by Louis XVI in the 18th century, but was terminated in 1836, and all gambling was officially prohibited in France a year later. A state-controlled Loterie Nationale was re-introduced in 1933 to benefit war veterans and the victims of agricultural disasters, and to eradicate the popularity of privately controlled commercial raffles. This went through several different titles before becoming Francaise des Jeux in 1991.
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Capsule checked 22nd January 2021
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Adbrands Daily Update 27th Jan 2020: "What Kind of Millionaire Would You Be?". It's everybody's favourite pastime: "if I were a millionaire, what would I do with the money?" That's the perfect challenge for French creative boutique Romance, which has come to specialise in delightfully heartfelt studies of everyday people. We've featured their work here several times before, most notably for supermarket chain Intermarché but also opticians ATOL and gambling site PokerStars. Warm observation and careful attention to detail are always guaranteed. Now they've crafted this lovely little tale for the big EuroMillions draw hosted by French lottery operator FDJ. Six friends are passing the time pondering the big question: "What would you do if you won 130 million Euros?" Would you do the same as Sebastien?
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