Paddy Power PLC is a vast online gambling operation headquartered in Ireland, with strong arms branching out to the UK, Australia and Canada. The online casino, poker, bingo and sports betting operator is now setting its sights on the US market as Nevada prepares to launch its new legal online gambling sector, expected to surface sometime in 2013.
The state of Nevada has already legalized online gambling, and there are several resident land-based casino operations that have applied for licensing within the state; some of which have already been granted. The state is surely looking to profit from intrastate online casinos based within its borders, and should Paddy Power establish itself as a land-based gambling operation within the state, it could certainly contribute to their cause in the impending future.
Paddy Power PLC has already sought approval from the Nevada Gambling Control Board, but has not sought a gaming license at this point, merely a finding of suitability – i.e. would Paddy Power be a suitable company to operate a brick-and-mortar casino within Nevada. By establishing itself in the US, it would later have the option of applying for an online gaming license as well.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board met and, to the delight of company officials, the committee approved Paddy Power’s suitability to purchase and operate a casino within the state.
During the meeting, the CEO of Paddy Power, Patrick Kennedy, told the board, “The US is a key potential new market for us.”
Paddy Power obviously impressed the board with its current capital, having established itself on the Irish and London Stock Exchange over a decade ago in 2000 and owning absolutely no debt. The company is worth approximately $6 billion with 80% of its revenue coming in from online gambling ventures alone.
“We welcome you to Nevada and we hope you find a way to come here soon,” expressed A. G. Burnette, a member of the Gaming Control Board.
Kennedy made it known that the intentions of the company are to seek online gaming opportunities in the US, not just in Nevada, but in other states as well. “We’re looking at all opportunities in the US, but our expertise is in online gaming,” said Kennedy. “That’s obviously what we’re looking at doing in Nevada and in other states.”
One likely reason that Paddy Power is getting such strong approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board is that the company has respected the US government’s outlook on illegal gambling since before the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Paddy Power chose not to enter the US market up until now because, according to its officials, the company was already realizing great success in its European, Australian and Canadian endeavors. Without the option to venture into a fully regulated online gambling operation in the US, it was not considered a reasonable enterprise to undertake up until now.
All that is left is to wait on the ruling of the Nevada Gaming Commission. While the Gaming Control Board has already voted in support of Paddy Power coming to Nevada, it is ultimately up to the Gaming Commission to review the recommendation and make the final decision. An official ruling is expected on July 26, 2013.