|Founder(s)||David Power, Stewart Kenny, John Corconan|
Paddy Power, as you may have guessed from its name, is an Irish bookmaker. As of November 2011 it has also been the largest bookmaker in Europe by total share value.
Paddy Power can trace its roots back to 1980, when it was formed as the result of a merger of some 40 shops belonging to three prominent Irish bookmakers – David Power, Stewart Kenny and John Corcoran. Of the three – and somewhat unsurprisingly – it was Power’s name that was deemed to be the strongest in terms of branding the new business. Paddy, obviously, was chosen to emphasis the company’s proud Irish origins. A lesser known fact, and something that perhaps in Power’s case was oddly prophetic, is that his son – born in 1974 – is named Paddy Power. It goes without saying that, today, he is a marketing spokesperson for the business.
What followed, courtesy of an aggressive expansion strategy, was a rapid growth for the newly christened business. The company focused on opening betting shops in the large majority of Ireland’s towns while, at the same time, growing its brand reputation with a series of novelty bets and publicity stunts. In 2007 Paddy Power ventured online, starting its Paddy Power Bingo service – further online betting followed suit.
In 2015, Paddy Power merged with rival betting company, Betfair. The new business, Paddy Power Betfair, began operations in February 2016.
What’s on offer?
Paddy Power’s heritage lies in sports betting and this is still at the heart of the company’s offering. However, customers will also find an array of other games and betting action to get stuck in to. For example, there’s a virtual sport centre hosting VR cycling, football, horse racing, tennis and motorsports among others. Paddy Power’s website also hosts a range of different casino games, poker, lotteries and bingo. The company even has a number of apps that can be downloaded directly to mobile meaning that, wherever you are, a gaming opportunity is never far away.
To say that Paddy Power likes controversy is an understatement. Throughout its history the business has offered odds on outlandish or contentious markets. In November 2008 it offered odds at 16-1 that Barack Obama wouldn’t finish his first presidential term (a bet that many saw as odds on a potential presidential assassination). Other controversial bets include odds on the first species to become extinct after the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the extinction of the polar bear and betting on Olympic athlete, Oscar Pistorious’ murder trial. However, the company’s ongoing growth proves the old adage that there really is no such thing as bad publicity.
There’s a caring side to Paddy Power too. The company works hard to ensure it’s players game responsibly. Online it offers a series of help and advice sections, as well as handy tips to maintain betting control. It also invites anyone – player or non-player – to get in touch and discuss any issues they may be experiencing around gaming.