Paddy Power History and Expansion

Paddy Power is an Ireland-based gaming company that offers
sports betting, casino games, bingo, and poker through its
website. The company also operates roughly 350 physical betting
shops throughout Ireland and the UK. Today, it’s the largest
bookmaker in Ireland and the sixth-largest gaming company in the

Our readers from the United States may not have heard much
about Paddy Power, but it’s very popular in other parts of the
world. With its unique betting markets, constant innovation, and
quality customer support, Paddy Power has established itself as
one of the big players in the European gaming market.

The Founding

Paddy Power Shop

Paddy Power was founded in 1988 when three Irish bookmakers
decided to combine resources. Stewart Kenny, David Power, and
John Corcoran joined forces and combined their 40 physical
betting shops to create the Paddy Power brand.

From the beginning, Paddy Power did things a little
differently than other bookmakers. One thing they did well was
treat customers like gold. The founders didn’t want Paddy Power
to act like the other bookmakers at the time who booked bets,
paid out winners, and churned through customers like cattle.

The founders treated every single customer as a valuable
patron. Paddy Power accomplished this by offering top-notch
customer service, providing entertainment at its shops, and
creating an inviting atmosphere in which customers felt welcome.
This approach differed from other bookmakers at the time, and it
was the key to their popularity of the fledgling enterprise.

Paddy Power also stood out for sticking to its Irish roots.
At the time, a number of UK bookmakers were making inroads in
Ireland. These British bookmakers were fine places to bet, but
they didn’t have that local touch that Paddy Power offered. This
alone made Paddy Power very popular among the locals.

Not content with stagnating, the group pursued a strategy of
aggressive expansion. They opened new betting shops in towns
across the country. These shops were strategically placed in
prominent parts of town rather than on out-of-the-way side
streets like most bookmakers at the time.

When you did business with Paddy Power, you didn’t slink off
to some seedy part of town and place your bets like some kind of
degenerate. You visited the town square and proudly placed your
bets in a clean and welcoming environment staffed by friendly
employees. This is what distinguished Paddy Power from the other
local bookmakers of the time.

Paddy Power Goes Online

By 2000, Paddy Power was already a successful betting company
in Ireland. However, they weren’t even close to finished with
their work. The company purchased in 2000 and set
up shop as a global online bookmaker.

Their online operations would eventually surpass and then
eclipse their brick-and-mortar shops. Eventually,
grew to become one of the largest online bookmakers in all of
Europe. They accomplished this by bringing to the internet their
same commitment to entertainment and customer service.

For example, Paddy Power doesn’t cancel bets that turn out
poorly for the company. There was a time in 2011 in which Paddy
Power allowed customers to combine a short-term promo with a
wager on the Champion League finals. This promo ended up
unexpectedly costing Paddy Power €3,000,000. Instead of
cancelling the bet like many bookmakers would have done, Paddy
Power paid up. That’s the kind of thing that endears customers
to a company.

From 2000 on to today, Paddy Power’s online operations have
continued to expand and grow. The website now turns over upwards
of €4 billion worth of wagers every year and sees revenue
topping €400 million. This places Paddy Power firmly in the top
tier of online bookmakers.

Some of Paddy Power’s online success can also be attributed
to the group’s willingness to constantly innovate. They are
always adding new features, hosting interesting wagers, and
coming up with clever marketing campaigns.

Paddy Power was one of the first websites to go mobile, and it
was the first of any bookmaker to get an app released on the
official Apple app store. They later added live streaming of
sports events to their mobile apps. Today, mobile betting
accounts for 45% of their online revenue.

Expanding Into New Markets

The people behind Paddy Power are an ambitious lot. Ever
since the founding, Paddy Power has sought to expand into new
markets. In 2004, Paddy Power expanded into skill games and
casino games. The next year, they added online poker and the
year after that, they added online bingo. Paddy Power now has a
full complement of games all under one roof.

Paddy Power has also expanded internationally. In 2009, they
bought a 51% stake in the Australian bookmaker
In 2010, they bought out the rest of the company. This gave
Paddy Power control over the largest online bookmaker in

In 2009, Paddy Power started outsourcing its technology to
other countries. They entered a software-licensing agreement
with betting organizations based out of France and Canada that

Paddy Power Is a Little Different has always displayed a knack for marketing.
They’ve been known to host controversial wagers such as whether
or not the President of the United States would finish his term.
They have aired controversial TV commercials. Some people
condemned Paddy Power, but the company was able to brand itself
as a little different than all the other online bookmakers.

More recently, Paddy Power offered a line on the outcome of

Oscar Pistorius murder trial
. This move earned them
thousands of complaints, and the UK’s Advertising Standards
Authority actually forced Paddy Power to cancel the bet.
Controversial? Yes. Brilliant marketing gimmick? Yes again.

Paddy Power’s commercials have also been investigated by the
UK’s ASA and at least one of them was pulled off the air. Each
of the following two ads were either yanked off the air or
banned from even airing in the first place.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

What’s funny is Paddy Power seems to take pride in its
controversial ads. On their official YouTube page, the video
description of the “Stallions and Mares” ad brags about being
yanked off the air within 4 days, and they call it a record.

Controversial or not, these are the kinds of things that make
Paddy Power unique. The company has fun with its fans and has a
talent for marketing to its demographic. All indications point
to Paddy Power being a formidable force in the gambling business
for a long time to come.