Philippe Augier, Mayor of Deauville takes the reins of PMU

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Philippe Augier, mayor of Deauville is the new man at the head of the PMU (Pari Mutuel Urbain).

Following the resignation of Bertrand Méheut, ex-boss of Canal + and PMU from 2018 to June 2020, the board of directors of the economic interest group (GIE), owned by France Galop and Le Trot, parent companies of the companies of races, met on June 9 to appoint a new Chairman of the Board of Directors to the Executive Director General, Cyril Linette, General Manager of the L’Équipe group from April 2015 to March 2018 and Director of Sports for the Canal + group during 7 years.

The candidacy of Philippe Augier, mayor of Deauville, connoisseur of racetracks and since 2019 member of the PMU board of directors as a qualified personality, was therefore validated after having been previously submitted to the relevant ministries (Agriculture, Food, Action and public accounts) who approved it.

Philippe Augier, 70, was CEO of the French Thoroughbred Sales Agency from 1989 to 2006, CEO of Deauville Auction from 1990 to 2006 and CEO of the French Trotting Agency from 1991 to 2006. He is at the origin of the Horse Competitiveness Cluster, launched in 2005. Mayor of Deauville for 4 terms, he was re-elected in the first round of the last municipal elections on March 15, 2020 with 75.93% of the votes against 24.06% for Johanna Lebailly. He is also president of France Congrès et Evènements, which brings together everything related to events, a sector also very affected by the pandemic.

“Everything has stopped and we will have to restart” … “Palais des Congrès and especially the agencies are in great difficulty but the government has prolonged partial unemployment until the end of September for some” … “Le Festival du American cinema is maintained in September just like a certain number of large congresses and BtoB events throughout France “… Regarding beaches and economic activity, health measures remain in place in Deauville,” said Philippe Augier.

The politician takes office in a difficult economic context out of the health crisis requiring a rapid revival of business activity. The policy and the reform work of the institution undertaken for 2 years by the PMU management team in connection with the parent companies and the public authorities will be continued. He will work in close collaboration with Cyril Linette and his team while bringing his vision and his knowledge of the sector to continue the business plan implemented in 2014 by Xavier Hürstel, aimed at completely renewing the physical network of PMU until 2020 .

Following this appointment, which is part of the dynamic of PMU’s return to growth, players in the sector, including the Presidents of racing companies, Edouard de Rothschild (France Galop) and Jean-Pierre Barjon (LeTrot), rejoice.

“I am very pleased with the confidence placed in me by the PMU General Assembly, the Race Companies and the public authorities. The PMU’s existing teams and staff are of high quality and I look forward to working with them, at a pivotal moment for PMU. I am aware of the importance of the task and, all together, we have the will, the energy and the skills necessary to carry it out, “said the mayor. from Deauville.

Over the whole of 2019, horse racing betting in France recorded a decrease of 0.5%, to 7.6 billion euros, against -3.3% for the previous year and “an average of -3.5% between 2012 and 2018 “. The modernization of the group’s offer and the installation of a new growth cycle in horse racing in France are planned after this decade at half mast, will restart the very impacted activity after the coronavirus, so we will have to wait.

From May 11, it was decided to reopen the races “behind closed doors”. Just before the crisis, the stakes were rising sharply. Since the recovery, it has started strong (despite the places closed in the Paris region) because there are many players attached to betting.

In 1891, Joseph Oller invented the pooling of bets which until then had been wildly organized by bookmakers. Following the law of June 2, 1891, the bettors play against each other and the sums played are divided between the winners.

The start of pari-mutuel betting is marked by the Race Companies, the only bodies authorized to organize horse races and sell bets. The law of April 16, 1930 authorizes them to record bets outside racetracks exclusively in mutual form. The Pari Mutuel Urbain is then created as a common service.

In 1954, André Carrus, creator and symbolic director of PMU, invents a bet that offers different ranks of winnings, whereas until then the bets played were relatively simple bets, which consisted in finding either the first or the first 2 horses of a race. It incorporates the notion of order and disorder. On January 22, the first Tiercé is run in Enghien then the processing of bets is done manually but practical and fast thanks to a deferred system and a rigorous organization., First by a notched slip with carbon shutters, then the nipper, the hand validator and the sorting needles. It was not until 1987 that the processing of bets was computerized.

Betting rules were changed in the early 1960s; in a few years, the system went from an unlimited number of bets to a system where each bettor cannot bet more than 60 francs.

In 1985, the PMU became an economic interest grouping (GIE) bringing together 57 racing companies, all non-profit associations.

Bets on horse racing on French territory are open every day. PMU can also offer bets on foreign races and sell its own bets on French races to other countries through partnerships.

There are almost 14,000 points of sale in France and the French overseas departments and territories where players can bet. It is also possible on the internet, by SMS or mobile app. Horse racing can be followed live at points of sale via Equidia. In accordance with the principle of pari-mutuel, the PMU distributes the sums played between the winners after deduction of the levies.

Decree n ° 97-456 of May 5, 1997 of the law of June 2, 1891 on horse racing, gives the PMU a monopoly status for the organization and collection of horse racing. Following pressure from the European Community, the online gambling sector was opened to competition on January 1, 2010, authorizations were issued by the Online Gaming Regulatory Authority (ARJEL) to competing companies.

In 2010, a license was issued to PMU by ARJEL to offer sports betting and poker on its website.

Every weekend, from June 6, the PMU offers “A bet on the terrace” (friendly meeting with horse racing entertainment on the terraces of 50 points of sale in Ile-de-France).

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