Paddy Power remembers their controversial ad stunts
By Martin Green18 September 2018
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Sky Bet enjoyed 36.5% year-on-year revenue growth on the back of a strong trading period during the 2018 World Cup. Total revenue for the year to June 2018 shot up to £670.5 million, while sports betting was up 37% to £407 million and casino gaming climbed 19% to £239 million. It has 1.3 million unique users during the World Cup and earned £33 million. The total handle rose to £3.86 billion in the year to June 2018. “The 2018 fiscal year was another strong year, with continued product leadership and innovation,” said chief executive Richard Flint. “We enjoyed another year of growth, extending our leadership as the UK’s most popular online betting and gaming brand.” Canada’s Stars Group recently bought Sky Bet in a colossal deal and said he is excited about the combined might of the two operators as they bid for world domination in 2018/19. Check out the press release for the full figures.

Gambling regulators from around the world have joined forces to express their concerns about skins gambling and loot boxes in eSports. “We want parents to be aware of the risks and to talk to their children about how to stay safe online,” said Neil McArthur, chief executive at the UK Gambling Commission. “For example, unlicensed websites offering skins betting can pop up at any time and children could be gambling with money intended for computer game products.” Regulators from across Europe and the US have signed the declaration.

Kenny Alexander, the chief executive at Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC, has told the Telegraph that he is “not particularly concerned” about restrictions being placed on TV gambling adverts. He believes rivals like Bet365, Paddy Power Betfair and Sky Bet, which do not have a land-based presence, have more to fear from any potential ban. “If there were any clampdowns on advertising and TV, I don’t think it would impact our business as much,” he said. The anti-gambling lobby in the UK has been extremely vociferous about clamping down on TV gambling ads after a huge number were aired during the World Cup this summer.

On that note, Paddy Power is celebrating its 30th birthday by counting down its top 10 advertising stunts of all time. It feels its best ad was a Shave the Rainforest stunt ahead of the 2014 World Cup, whereby it pretended to have cut down a bunch of trees in the Amazon to spell out the slogan “C’mon England” from an aerial view. In second place is Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner flashing his green Paddy Power pants after scoring in the European Championship. Third place went to another stunt ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where it pretended to paint a St George’s Cross on a polar bear. Strangely, taking bets on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, depicting Jesus playing poker at the Last Supper and offering lines on pensioners on a level crossing being mown down by a car were not on the list. Read the top 10 on its blog.

William Hill’s finance director is apparently so confident in the bookmaker’s future prospects that she has spent £100,000 of her own money to top up her stake in the business. The Financial Times likens it to seven senior managers at telecoms giant Vodafone buying shares in it. “Whether they’re trying to boost sentiment or merely capitalising on recent share price weakness is unclear,” it says. The Financial Times has more on this.