by Renee Israel
The Irish sports betting giant with a strong online and offline presence,
Paddy Power, has made progress in the Nevada gambling market by being granted a
preliminary finding of suitability by state authorities this week.
While Paddy Power does not have any business interests in Nevada currently,
the group sought a "suitability" license in order to learn whether it truly met
with Nevada's gaming compliance committee standards.
The board, which has recommended Paddy Power to receive the license, said
that this type of application was "one of a kind", allowing gambling groups to
go through the entire investigative process without actually purchasing a casino
or other licensed business.
After the hour-long hearing with Nevada authorities, Chief Executive Officer
of Paddy Power, Patrick Kennedy was told: "We welcome you into Nevada and we
hope you find a way to come here soon."
Paddy Power Seeking Nevada Partners
The meeting with Nevada gambling authorities saw Kennedy tell the board that
Paddy Power was actively seeking gaming opportunities in Nevada and the United
States as a whole.
"The US is a key potential new market for us," he said. "We're looking at all
opportunities in the US but our expertise is in online gaming. That's obviously
what we're looking at doing in Nevada and in other states."
Following the preliminary approval by the Nevada Gambling Control Board, the
state's Gaming Commission will rule on the recommendation on July 26th and grant
its final approval.
During the same hearing where Paddy Power received Nevada approval,
the American table games supplier Shuffle Master was also cleared for approval.
Shuffle Master said that it intends using its Nevada gaming license to
partner with land-based companies to provide online poker using its games, which
include popular poker variants as Texas Hold 'em and Three Card Poker, among
Paddy Power is Debt Free
The Nevada Gambling Control Board was impressed with Paddy Power's
application for a number of reasons, including the fact that the Irish gaming
firm is debt free, which means reduced risk to consumers and potential partners.
Paddy Power is publicly listed on both the Irish and London stock exchanges
and has a market capitalisation of approximately $6 billion.
80% of Paddy Power's revenues come from online gaming activities in markets
such as Britain, Ireland and - the most recent entry - Italy.
Paddy Power also provides online gambling technology to sites in France, as
well as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in the Canadian province.