Over the last 5 to 6 years Paddy Power has become one of the leading bookmakers within the UK market. While too many punters within England, Scotland and Wales they seem to appear from nowhere, they have an actual fact been in business since 1988 following the merger of three separate Irish bookmakers who owned a total of 40 shops between them. The company’s name was decided during a meeting between the heads of the three bookmakers, one of which was David Power. All three agreed that David’s surname was the most “powerful” in terms of branding, while Paddy was used to define the company’s roots and Irish heritage.
In 1988 the company had less than 10% of the Irish betting markets trade, which represented a strong foundation for the business expansion. Their Irish charm, controversial markets and cheeky marketing drove them to the forefront of the UK betting markets over the course of the next 12 years. This culminated in 2000 with Paddy Power being listed on the London Stock Exchange in an attempt to source funding further expansion into the United Kingdom. Once fundings were secured they opened 45 physical betting shops in mainland Britain, which when combined with their 191 betting shop situated in Ireland gives them 236 total betting shops.
There has been a lot of controversy caused by Paddy Power’s choice to offer markets that other bookmakers simply would not touch due to the potential for a PR nightmare. One such example was the market for president Barack Obama not completing his first term, which was widely thought to be the odds of the United States president being assassinated over the course of the next four years. The odds of this was 16 to 1.
Other publicity stunts that backfired on the Irish bookmaker include the paying out on all bets for Stoke City to be relegated from the Premier league in their first season after losing their opening game Bolton Wanderers 3-1. This later resulted in the bookmaker publishing a public apology to both the club and its fans.
The last official check Paddy Power were Europe’s biggest bookmaker by company value and had a group income of €444 million 2010.