Britain's biggest bookmaker Ladbrokes Plc has signed a conditional joint venture agreement with Groupe Canal+ to launch an online betting and gaming service in France, it said on Thursday.
The new service, Ladbrokes first move into the French market in its 124-year history, is set to launch this year subject to competition clearances.
"We believe that there is an opportunity to build a good business in France over time as the market and regulation develop," said Ladbrokes' managing director of remote betting and gaming John O'Reilly.
Under the 50:50 joint venture, Ladbrokes will provide its betting and gaming knowledge and technology, while premium pay TV provider CANAL+ will provide access to media, brand, potential consumers and its experience of operating in the French market.
Each company will provide 2.25 million euros ($3 million) as initial funding for the venture.