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Irish Sportsbook Paddy Power Sets Sights on France


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Many of the world’s most successful land and online gambling companies have
recognized the need for consolidation, acquisition and expansion, the latest of
which is Irish land and online sport betting firm Paddy Power, which has
announced a move into the French online sports betting market.

Currently Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power has reportedly signed a
five-year deal that will see it provide online betting technology and pricing to
Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU), France’s sole horse racing operator and
Europe’s biggest betting operation which generated a turnover of 9.3 billion
euros in 2008.

The deal will allow Paddy Power to expand its business-to-business portfolio
further into Europe as an increasing number of European countries are choosing
to open up their lucrative online gambling industries. Paddy Power’s deal with
PMU is expected to generate 5 million euros in extra revenues by 2012.

Said Paddy Power finance director, Jack Massey, ‘The strength of the deal [with
PMU] is the quality of the partner which gives us an excellent calling card of
other such opportunities that may emerge.’ The PMU agreement will also
reportedly create 50 new jobs at Paddy Power’s Dublin HQ by June next year.

In May, Paddy Power looked to Australia to extend its global reach, when it paid
32.8 million euros for 51 percent of leading Australian online sports betting
site, Sportsbet. In June it continued its buying spree down under by paying 17.8
million euros for 80 percent of another top Australian bookmaker, IAS.

And it’s not hard to see why long-established gambling firms such as Paddy Power
are eager to do more business online, considering that the costs of offering
betting facilities over the internet are far lower than those involved with the
running of ‘high street’ betting shops, with their high rent and staff
overheads.

The other reason, of course, is that with an increasing number of long-time
betting fans switching to wagering online, traditional sportsbooks are being
forced to move with the times or risk being left behind. And judging by its
international dealings, Paddy Power is a sports book eager to stay at the
forefront.

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