In an era of UK consumer distrust and moral suspicion of gambling firms, Paddy Power attempts to redirect the conversation.
As the noose tightens around the gambling industry’s neck with the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals crackdown and further increased regulation on online and TV advertising, the public’s perception of the morality of the UK gambling industry has never been lower. The proliferation of betting shops on our high streets, of which Paddy Power makes up a decent number, is considered one of the greatest scourges on our society.
The perception of online gambling websites as money-grabbing, children-appealing ethical waste zones is only fuelled by multiple stories of kids stealing their parents’ credit cards and blowing thousands of pounds on gambling websites.
Paddy Power Betfair is one of the first great gambling monoliths, born from the merger of the two of the UK and Ireland’s biggest gaming firms in 2016, to attempt a bold rebrand to distance itself from the industry’s seedy overtones. As of today, the company is now listed on the UK’s business listing FTSE 100 as “Flutter Entertainment.” The name suggests a new leisure and entertainment pleasure factory has been born! Of course, the reality is that this is still Paddy Power Betfair, a company that runs various sports betting and casino websites and bookie shops up and down the high street. The leopard has bought itself a nifty pair of rose-tinted sunglasses. But the leopard still has spots and it is still a leopard.
The intention is clear – to remind people that gambling, as long as it is enjoyed responsibly, is simply another form of entertainment that people spend their cash on as they would on any other; going to a restaurant, seeing a show, joining a tennis club, or going on holiday. Most punters have a cheeky “flutter” now and again, as much or as little as they want or can afford, and that is that.
Rather than hinting at any sort of attempt to realign public consciousness, the group’s CEO Peter Jackson pointed out that the change has more to do with the company’s growing and diverse interests all around the world.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to better reflect the global nature of our organisation and the diverse set of challenger brands we have operating around the world.”
The company’s shareholders voted unanimously at their Annual General Meeting in favour of the proposal with a whopping 99.76% of the vote. On the day the name change took effect, the company’s share price rose from 5,572 pence to 5,732 pence. Learn more about Flutter Entertainment’s flagship brands, Paddy Power & Betfair, by clicking the links.