|Paddy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy has confirmed that the company does have an interest in acquiring a land based casino licence, should new governmental regulatory changes be enforced.|
Justice Minister Michael McDowell has recently set up a taskforce to consider the legalisation and regulation of the currently outlawed casinos, which has lead Paddy Power to explore its possibilities following the popularity of its online casino, which accounted for half of the company’s profits during the first six months of the year.
Mr Kennedy stated, “We don’t know how it’s going to evolve in the next number of years, but we have already started looking at how best we can enter.”
Interim results from the bookmaker showed pre-tax profits up by 11.5 percent to €20.4 million on turnover up 27 percent at €877 million, turning over €48 million from the World Cup alone.
The company attributed the increase in profits to the strong growth from its internet business, which offset sluggish earnings from its core betting shops.
Paddy Power’s online arm grew its customer numbers by 80% to 133,374, including 15,411 customers who only play casino games. Turnover was up 54% to €247m with profits up 19% to €9.7m.