PMU deal for Paddy Power seems to be a financial relief

Irish betting group's partnership with PMU will further reduce its dependence on its Irish and UK retail betting shops.

Ireland's Sunday Independent newspaper lauded betting group Paddy Power's deal with the former French gambling monopoly Pari Mutuel Urbain this week (see previous InfoPowa report) as a move that will further reduce the quoted bookmaker's dependence on its Irish and UK retail betting shops.

The newspaper notes that half of Paddy Power's turnover and almost two-thirds of its profits now come from online gambling, and that the new deal is the latest indication that Paddy Power's move online is gathering pace.

In May, the online and land betting group expanded in Australia, paying Euro 32.8 million for 51 percent of Aussie online bookmaker Sportsbet. The following month, Sportsbet paid about Euro 17.8 million for 80 percent of another Aussie online bookie, IAS, to bring Paddy Power's total Australian investment up to Euro 41.9 million.

Analysing the business reasons for Paddy Power's increasing inclination to online betting, the newspaper reports that the group's first half results this (2009) year showed that, while Paddy Power paid out just 88 cents of every Euro wagered in its [land] shops, it paid out almost 94 cents of every Euro gambled online. Internet operations generated almost two-thirds of first-half operating profits - far more profitable than the group's traditional land betting outlets.

"With bookmakers coming under increasing pressure from online betting exchanges, where the only cost to customers is an average three percent deduction from winnings, the price advantage enjoyed over retail outlets will almost certainly be decisive." the Sunday Independent notes for the future.

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