Paddy Power shares drop 2.5% after US ban

BOOKMAKER Paddy Power’s share price slumped as much as 2.5% during trading after the US legislators banned Internet gaming.

At close of the ISE yesterday, shares stood at €14.55 falling from the morning’s opening price of €14.80.

Head of communications at Paddy Power played down the effect this had on business for the company as they do not have any US residents as customers.

“The law in the US was always a grey area. We always erred on the side of caution when it came to the US. We have no presence there,” said Power.

He admitted that the increased focus on Europe would make it a more competitive market.

“I would imagine that Ireland and Britain will be a place where people will target now but the customer will be the winner as they will be getting better value.

“If the decision was reversed then maybe we would have but we stick to the market we know,” he said. It was not the only bookie’s share price to be effected. Shares of PartyGaming, Sportingbet and 888 Holdings Plc plummeted after the laws were passed wiping out US revenue and more than $7 billion of market value.

Congress passed the legislation last Saturday making it unlawful for credit-card companies to collect payments for transactions with online-gaming sites.

Gambling on the Internet has become a $12bn-a-year (€9.45bn) business for companies such as PartyGaming and 888, operating in locations such as Gibraltar and Antigua.

PartyGaming got four-fifths of its sales from the US last year.

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