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Paddy Power hopes to make Italy some offers it can't refuse

The Irish bookie has announced plans to enter into the Italian market ahead of Euro 2012, when the two countries will meet.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

BOOKMAKER PADDY POWER has revealed plans to gain a foothold in the gambling markets in continental Europe, beginning with an expansion into Europe.

Documents enclosed in the bookie’s financial results yesterday reveal that the Dublin-based bookie plans to press ahead with “organic entry” into the Italian market later this year.

The bookmaker says the move comes after the Italian government relaxed restrictions on the betting products it allows Italian residents to use.

The bookie hopes its online betting and gaming service would be ready before June, so that it had a product offering in place before the Euro 2012 tournament kicks off – where the Italian national side will meet the Republic of Ireland in the group stages.

Italy is Europe’s biggest gambling market, with an estimated €60 billion in bets made every year.

The company has hinted that it could continue to seek expansion into Europe, noting that Spain, Greece, Germany and Denmark were all pursuing similar moves to reform their online betting industries.

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The bookie already operates in Canada, Bulgaria and Australia – where it accepted €1.37 billion in bets last year, despite Australia being a relatively restrictive online betting environment.

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Gavan Reilly

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