BUSINESS

Rank revenues rise; Paddy Power deals with hackers and Wayne Rooney’s lip

TAGs: Matthew Jarvis, Paddy Power, Rank Group, Wayne Rooney

paddy-power-wayne-rooneyRank Group PLC is reporting a 2% revenue rise in the first 15 weeks of its financial year, propelled by “growth in customers and customer visits.” Rank Interactive’s revenues were up 23%, Mecca Bingo club revenue was up 4%, while Spanish bingo chain Top Rank España was off 20% due to a smoking ban taking effect Jan. 2. (A similar smoking ban is set to take effect July 1 in Belgium, where Rank operates two casinos.) At Rank’s Grosvenor Casinos, customer visits were up 12%, but the lucky bastards kept winning, leaving revenues flat. Rank was also still reveling in the fat £154m tax rebate they received last month from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which presumably kept Rank staff off the royal wedding invite list.

Mahjong Logic has announced the signing of new licensee Tycoonbet. Tycoonbet, which already has a casino and poker platform, is scheduled to launch later this quarter, with a focus on markets in China and the ex-pat Chinese market in Canada.

World Series of Poker November Niner Matthew Jarvis has waded into the debate surrounding the proposed construction of a mega-casino in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Local resident Jarvis spoke in favor of the Paragon Gaming proposal, saying he feels safer in a casino than at high-stakes illegal poker games populated by “sketchy characters.” Jarvis went on to claim that such games took place in “back alley joints” and highrises in Vancouver, but when questioned by municipal officials, Jarvis dodged comment on whether he himself took part in these games. Smooth, Matt. How’d you ever make it to the WSOP final table with such a hamfisted performance?

Paddy Power was the victim of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack on April 12 that knocked the Irish betting behemoth off the grid for a full 24 hours. However, Paddy people are keen to convey that “no customer data has been compromised and our systems, while at times were unavailable, were at all times secure.” The DDOS shutdown came on the heels of IT issues the site suffered on April 9, but that problem was caused by a rush of Grand National punters, not scumbag ne’er do wells hell-bent on causing mayhem.

Speaking of, Wayne Rooney is allegedly a little closer to signing a somewhat dubious £50m deal with Paddy Power. The Daily Star quotes Paddy spokesman Ken Robertson as saying that the Manchester United striker (and foul-mouthed TV personality) is “a sports personality we feel would be very suited to the Paddy Power brand and what it represents.” Robertson went on to say “Fucking what? What? Fucking hell!” (Actually, he didn’t, but if they’re taking Rooney on, they better learn to speak Profane Wayne’s dialect.)

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