Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy says his company doesn’t intend to get left behind in an American regulated online poker market. Following Paddy’s AGM in Dublin, Kennedy told the Independent that his company is holding talks with a number of potential US online poker joint venture partners, although he declined to name names. Kennedy acknowledged that companies like bwin.party and 888 – which have already struck US joint venture deals – may have in-house online poker technology that Paddy lacks, but Kennedy says Paddy had other admirable qualities that made it a desirable dance partner. “What we’re showing potential partners is deep e-commerce expertise that other global companies don’t have. We know how to run, better than anyone, I would argue, an e-commerce business. So there are different parts to the value chain.”
Paddy is also renowned for its ability to generate media buzz via its promotional stunts, such as that jockey it added to the 374’ Uffington White Horse for this year’s Cheltenham or the giant ‘Hollywood’ style sign it erected for the 2010 event. That said, it’s never easy topping one’s previous efforts, so Paddy has reportedly sent tailored briefs to a number of public relations agencies for help on a stunt-by-stunt basis. One of these agencies told PR Week that Paddy’s desire was for “bigger, better and bolder.” Paddy’s own spokesman said there was no formal pitch being made, just fishing for ideas, because it’s “always searching for the next big stunt.”
Ireland’s Central Bank may have lifted the trading suspension on spread betting firm MarketSpreads following the collapse of its former UK parent outfit WorldSpreads, but the Irish company has had to lower its 2010 financial figures by €1m, resulting in a pre-tax loss of €709k for the year. Newly filed accounts for 2010 had to take into account the €1.4m diverted from the company by former CEO Brian O’Neill and director Fergus Rice to another company in which the two execs were involved. The revised 2010 figures include a €1m provision against MarketSpreads getting that money back.