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Orange Makes Betting Deal Ahead of New French Gambling Rules

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March 16 (Bloomberg) -- France Telecom SA’s Orange will partner with the French state gambling monopoly Francaise des Jeux to offer sports betting and lotteries through its mobile, Internet, and television platforms.

The three-year deal will integrate Francaise des Jeux’s betting services into Orange’s sports portal, France Telecom said in an e-mailed statement.

France is preparing for the opening of its online gambling market to competition from foreign operators such as PartyGaming Plc, ending an official ban on betting that does not go through Francaise des Jeux or its horse-racing counterpart Pari Mutuel Urbain. In November Ireland’s Paddy Power Plc said it had signed an accord to provide PMU with technical expertise ahead of the market opening.

The deal will allow Orange to “propose an entertaining and responsible offer that applies the know-how of Francaise des Jeux,” the company said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Campbell in London at mcampbell39@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net.

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