Online Casino Operations Save Firm’s Year
The decreasing fortunes of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power have turned around in the last 12 months, with the company’s online casino operations proving to be the most significant area of growth. While revenues for the firm’s traditional betting operations fell over 2005, its online casino activities contributed for 56 percent of its total profit. Last year’s online casino poker launch helped to shift the company’s focus from its traditional forms of betting. Customers at Paddy Power subsequently increased from 46,703 on the previous year to 73,661.
Membership for the company’s online casino gaming platform also increased from 2,338 to 11, 227. While the company’s total pre-tax profit was down 2.5 percent on 2004, its online casino operating profits increased by 92 percent for 21 million euros. CEO John Kennedy cited structural changes in the firm’s home market as responsible for Paddy Power’s disappointing total profit but was quick to draw attention to the growth of its online casino business over 2005.
Kennedy also stated the firm is keen to expand its online casino operations into places such as Chicago and New York, where the branding is expected to find favor with a large population of Irish descent. However Kennedy believes legislation concerning online casino gaming remains a “grey area” in the U.S., prompting the firm to settle for a “wait and see approach.”