Published on 26 August 2015 by Rhi
The landscape of the online gaming world is changing drastically right now, especially in the UK. Companies are merging here, there and everywhere in billion pound deals, making big companies into super powers. First, there was the Ladbrokes/Coral merger, which has now created the biggest bookmaker in the UK. We also have the 888/bwin up coming merger drama, as Sportingbet does their best to intervene. And now it has been announced that two absolute power houses in the UK are merging to create a product like we’ve never seen before.
It has been announced that Paddy Power and Betfair will be merging. Paddy Power will take control of 52% of Betfair, implementing their own management team at the online betting exchange. Paddy Power is a controversial high street and online book maker, which delights in driving the public, and media into a frenzy with their cheeky, often offensive, betting markets.
Betfair was the world’s first online betting exchange, allowing players to bet against each other, select their own odds and in general, get up to 20% better prices than all other betting sites and shops in the world. They have since grown to include extra products such as Casino and Arcade, multiple betting as well as a traditional bookmaking product for those who can’t (or don’t want to) get their heads around the exchange.
As yet, we have no idea what this merger will mean in terms of changes, either to the exchange, to Paddy Power’s website or to their high street stores. Betfair and Paddy Power released a statement this morning;
The combination has compelling strategic logic and represents an attractive opportunity for both companies to enhance their position in online betting and gaming and to deliver synergies, customer benefits and shareholder value.
but this management jargon doesn’t tell us much about what’s to come. I suggest everyone to watch this space, as we could soon be seeing a revolution of the UK bookmaking high street, where not a lot has changed in the decades since it boomed. Will these new mergers provide a much needed shakeup to the British high street and UK regulated online betting websites, or is this the beginning of the end for punters, now with less choice than ever.