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Paddy Power owner to be investigated over its proposed merger with TSG

por Tabatha Cottee (2020-04-02)


Betfair and Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment is being investigated by the UK's competition watchdog over its anticipated merger with a Canadian gambling company.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will assess whether Flutter's proposed merger with The Stars Group (TSG) will cause a 'substantial lessening of competition' within the gambling industry.

Parties involved in the deal now have until 18 February to make their views known on the deal, with a final decision on the merger to be made at the end of March.






Flutter Entertainment owns Paddy Power, a prominent sponsor of horse racing events


Dublin-based Flutter Entertainment announced its intention to merge with TSG back in October. 

Should the deal be allowed to go ahead, it will create the world's largest online betting and gaming operator, with combined annual revenues totalling £3.8billion.

Under the deal's terms, Flutter will own around 55 per cent of the combined company, while TSG shareholders with own the rest. The firm's headquarters would be in Dublin and the majority of non-executive directors will be from Flutter.

Toronto-based TSG owns the Sky Betting & Gaming, Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker brands and is worth more than $10billion. 






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The announcement of the inquiry comes the day after the CMA put Takeaway.com's merger with Just Eat on hold. It has imposed an 'initial enforcement order' barring the two firms from integrating and to keep their brands separate.

Flutter and TSG say their merger will enable them to make cost savings of £140million and enable Flutter to have its brands in more than 100 markets.

The deal follows a partnership announced in May between TSG and Fox Sports to provide sports betting to the US, while Flutter is already targeting America after buying US fantasy sports betting site FanDuel last year.






From 14 April, British people will not be allowed to use credit cards to place bets. The rules were brought in by the Gambling Commission in an effort to cut down on problem gambling Over one-fifth of punters who use credit cards are classified as 'problem gamblers


It comes during a period of unprecedented change in the global betting industry, which has seen a raft of deals in recent years amid the rise in online gaming and regulation crackdowns.

From 14 April, British people will not be allowed to use credit cards to place bets. The rules were brought in by the Gambling Commission in an effort to cut down on problem gambling. 

Over one-fifth of punters who use credit cards are classified as 'problem gamblers.' 

Credit card gambling can cause people to run up thousands of pounds in debt, develop mental health problems and lose their homes.

The announcement of the investigation comes during the three-day ICE London gambling conference being held at the ExCeL Centre in the capital.

A Daily Mail exclusive has found that some hostesses at the exhibition were dressed in scantily-clad outfits such as Playboy bunny costumes, leather catsuits, and Bavarian barmaids, leading MPs to condemn their use as sexist.






MPs condemned the use of women dressed in scantily-clad outfits such as Playboy bunnies, leather catsuits, and Bavarian barmaids at the ICE London gambling exhibition as sexist


Labour MP Carolyn Harris called the use of women dressed in highly sexualised outfits 'archaic and beyond disrespectful. Whilst these are overseas companies, the fact they are promoting their business at a UK conference is not acceptable.. 





Flutter Entertainment is an exhibitor at the conference, which is being attended by around 35,000 people and also features women dressed as Greek goddesses and angels.

The Gambling Commission threatened to boycott the 2018 event if it used 'promo girls,' but has a stand at the event. 

A spokesman for the association said: 'We called out the organisers about this two years ago and they have since launched a code of conduct. 

'It is a matter for the organisers to enforce that code. Our focus at the conference is on making gambling safer for British consumers.'

Shares in Flutter Entertainment rose 0.5 per cent in early trading to 8,641p. 






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