French gaming operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) claims to have achieved a market first with the launch of a sports betting app for smart watches in its home market of France.

The launch is part of the operator’s strategy to ensure it continues to grow in what it describes as a “still dynamic” sector.

The app, available for watches using Apple and Android operating systems, allows punters to bet on major sports such as football, rugby, tennis and basketball.

Users can place pre-match and in-play bets, as well as monitoring events in real-time with regular updates on the latest happenings.

Since the French sports betting market opened in 2010, PMU says, live betting has grown in importance, representing 45 per cent of all wagers placed via the operator, and 80 per cent for tennis and basketball.

The launch of the app comes ahead of two major sporting events due to take place this summer, the UEFA Euro 2016 Championships, which will be held in France, and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.

In related news, PMU yesterday (January 7th) launched its new offline betting brand MyPMU as part of its mandated separation of online and offline horse racing liquidity. As part of this roll-out the operator has rebranded its player card as MyPMU, which will automatically credit winnings to users’ accounts.

The MyPMU.fr site will replace the info.PMU.fr site for horse betting information, offering users data on upcoming races to inform their bet decisions, while the MyPMU+ loyalty programme will reward players by refunding them 2 per cent of stakes offered each months.

PMU has already rebranded its retail outlets as Happy PMU, PMU Express and PMU, with 3,000 outlets already operating under the new branding and a further 3,500 points of sale to be converted in 2016.

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