While some bookies stand to benefit from new gambling laws, Paddy Power isn’t one of them.
Recent changes to UK gambling laws have handed local authorities more power to regulate the opening of new betting shops. Business applications will come under scrutiny and public officials will be asked to prevent the “clustering” of shops. In addition, customers who want to bet in excess of GBP 50 will be required to bet over the counter rather than by credit card.
The move follows a separate announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that the tax on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals would be upped from 20 percent to 25 percent. While the tax hike caused William Hill and Ladbrokes to take a tumble on the stock market, the new planning changes led to a recovery, as they will likely protect these bookies from competition.
Paddy Power leading opposition to law changes
While most of Britain’s bookmakers are unhappy about the new regulations, Paddy Power is especially upset. Why? It is seeking to greatly expand its portfolio of High Street betting shops and break the oligopoly of William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfred and Gala Coral. Company execs argue that added regulations will privilege incumbents at the expense of upstarts:
“In a market where the Big 4 incumbents control 90pc of the market and openly welcome planning restrictions, challenger brands like Paddy Power will be prevented from offering choice and value to consumers.”
Paddy Power is one of the most popular online sportsbooks in Britain but wants to diversify its business model with more land-based betting shops.