Paddy Power lines up French expansion

LEADING Irish bookmakers chain Paddy Power is lining up further international expansion, with entry into the French market on the cards for the first half of next year.

The company — which, earlier this year, continued its expansion in the British market and entered the Australian market through acquisition — is eyeing up opportunities within the burgeoning online gaming market in France and has started negotiations with a number of bodies, with a view to setting up a business-to-business operating platform.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power declined to name any of the other parties involved, on competitiveness grounds, but said France was an “imminent” move. They also hinted a move into France would likely be via the business-to-business model, rather than the more traditional business-to-consumer method the company uses both here and in Britain.

“We have no brand awareness, whatsoever, in France and building one up from scratch — by, say, setting up a .fr website could be a challenge,” they said.

The business-to-business method however, would be cheaper and potentially quicker. This would see Power’s take care of the online infrastructure and basically run the online gaming business of another company — in essence, acting as an outsource agent.

A number of top flight French football clubs — Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain included — have already inked deals with the likes of Betclick and Unibet to run the gaming sections on their respective websites.


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