Paddy Power plans to launch a Virtual casino
By staff
Paddy Power, Ireland's largest bookmaking chain has plans to launch an online casino, besides plan to expand offline. According to the company’s expansion strategy the online casino would abide by Irish law since they plan to operate the virtual Paddy Power from Jersey or a similar feasible location.

The company to lure its customers to bet both online and offline, is revamping its website ( and telephone services so they can bet through both channels with a single account in a choice of English and another European language.

CEO John O'Reilly expects the online business to show a profit by year-end.

The Irish bookmaking major, which currently has 139 betting stores in Ireland and Britain, plans to open over 24 new stores in Britain by the end of 2004 and 40 stores by 2008. In the next 6 months, its total UK stores would touch 40. All its new betting outlets would have the controversial fixed-odd betting terminals, which are under the scrutiny of UK gaming commission, with likely clamping down and restricts on these terminals from next year.

Simultaneously the Irish bookie announced weaker, but in line, interim results for the first 6 months to June 2003 showing an operating profit of €6.8m and profit after tax of €6.2m with a turnover growth of 42%. The weaker results were an effect of string of low results at Cheltenham. The Board will be paying an interim dividend of 4.3c per share on 22 September 2003 to shareholders.

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