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Sunday 28 May 2017

Paddy Power drops Facebook betting

Mobile casino
Mobile casino
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Paddy Power is dropping its Facebook betting product Paddy Power In-Play, a mobile casino app, and a betting challenge that it previously said was "revolutionising the way people bet on sports."

New chief executive Andy McCue said the products hadn't panned out as the bookmaker hoped.

"Inevitably, innovative ideas won't all work, and in this context, we have decided to discontinue our secondary products and brands, Betdash, Paddy Power In-Play... and Roller," Mr McCue wrote in the company's 2014 annual report.

But McCue said the business "remains centred on the key growth markets of online and mobile".

Last year the company made record pre-tax profits of €167m. In March it announced plans to return almost €400m to shareholders.

"We have evaluated the attractiveness of a number of possible acquisitions in recent years but we have yet to see any substantial opportunities that are as compelling as the organic strategy outlined here.

"We therefore believe that this is an opportune time to return a material amount of capital to our shareholders, whilst retaining the flexibility to respond to opportunities that may arise," McCue wrote.

The report reveals that McCue's predecessor, Patrick Kennedy, got a pay package of €1.6m last year. The bookmaker is reviewing its presence in Italy and is due to announce its plans within months.

"Whilst we have achieved meaningful sportsbook market share, overall market growth remains slower than expected," the report says.

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