L’Institution des courses, the French collective horse-racing body, encompasses five main entities, including Société d’Encouragement à l’Élevage du Cheval Français (SECF) and France Galop, which organise trot and gallop horse racing respectively, and manage the main race courses. These two parent companies formed Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) to collect bets and distribute earnings. These organisations deal with substantial amounts of money: PMU collected €9.1 billion in 2017, of which €7.9 billion came from French bettors, €793 million from foreign professional punters and €354 million from other foreign punters, together with €856 million drawn from online sports betting and poker games.
The resources of L’Institution des courses have fallen considerably since the start of the 2010s, due to horse racing betting having to deal with increasing competition on the gambling market. Having failed to put in place the necessary reforms, the institution is now facing a deteriorated financial situation despite increased support from the French government. Furthermore, questions may be asked regarding the relevance of the monopoly it has on the organisation of horse racing betting.