Paddy Power Betfair shrugs off £2 stake cut

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Gambling firm Paddy Power Betfair has said it can withstand the government’s plan to cut the minimum bet on fixed-odds betting terminals [FOBTs] to £2.

The company made the statement as it reported a 4% rise in first half profits to £106m.

“Our shops are more profitable, and outperform on sports betting, enabling them to better withstand the impact of lower machine stakes limits,” the company said.

The stake is being cut from £100.

FOBTs generate £1.8bn in revenue a year for the betting industry, according to the Gambling Commission, as well as taxes of £400m for the government.

“We operate in high-footfall, highly competed locations, which means we are well placed to benefit from competitor shop closures,” Paddy Power Betfair said.

“In the UK, we do not expect the government’s proposed new £2 stake limit for gaming machines to have a material impact on our retail strategy,” it added.

Rival William Hill, which generates just over half its retail revenues from FOBTs, has warned 900 of its shops could become loss-making, potentially leading to job losses.

Paddy Power Betfair said it had donated £170,000 to LGBT charities as part of its “Rainbow Russians” campaign, which included making a donation every time Russia scored in the World Cup.

It was also behind the “official bus of gay professional footballers” which headed to Brighton Pride.

Paddy Power Befair is also pushing into North America by buying US fantasy sports betting site Fan Duel.

Ed Monk, associate director of Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service, said: “It wasn’t all about the World Cup fro Paddy Power Betfair. Half-year numbers showed a 13% boost in revenue in the second quarter of 2018, but revenue was up 9% in the period prior to the tournament.”



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