Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PlayNow to be "Paddy-powered"

It's not every day that I receive 950 pages of documents via Freedom of Information.

It's doubly special when it arrives before St. Patrick's Day and concerns one of Ireland's biggest companies which is cheeky enough to show nudity in its corporate reports. I'm referring to Paddy Power, the Dublin-based retail and online gambling giant that is now a key partner with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.

Read my story here about this timely relationship and the next step in B.C. gambling expansion in the Vancouver Courier.

Paddy Power wants to grow and enter the North American market. BCLC plans to re-launch its PlayNow legal online gambling website this summer (when the 2012 Olympics will occur) with a heavy emphasis on sports and event betting. Just in time for the federal government to relax Canadian gambling laws because of an NDP Member of Parliament's private member's bill.

By summer, it should be legal to bet on a single sporting event in Canada through legal channels, such as BCLC and the other provincial government monopolies. With this comes the legitimate concerns that more teenage boys will find a way to gamble and eventually become addicts. Read about the science here and watch the Gambling Boys documentary here. In addition to health, there are other worries about the proliferation of gambling and the risks of match-fixing, as chronicled by author Declan Hill.

Sports fans in Canada (particularly British Columbia) will be happy. But deficit-plagued governments across North America are revenue-hungry and, when it comes to gambling, tend only to see the benefits side of the ledger, not the costs.

All 950 pages are posted below. The file is so long, that I have included this list of highlights for your ease of browsing (with page numbers according to the Scribd.com tabulation).

Pages 2-3: The B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch registration approval for Paddy Power.
Pages 4-5: GPEB regulations (note how sections b, h, j, m, n and p do not apply to Paddy Power).
Page 6: Paddy Power's B.C. registration certificate.
The next 70 pages deal with Paddy Power's software provider, Playtech.
Page 76: 2010 Paddy Power annual report. (Note the iPad motif, a nod to mobile gambling on tablets).
Page 242: 2009 Paddy Power annual report.
Page 378: 2008 Paddy Power annual report.
Page 482: 2007 Paddy Power annual report (inspired by the hilarious Father Ted Channel 4 sit-com. The report contains a well-endowed woman in a wet T-shirt on page 491 and an Elvis impersonator in front of Buckingham Palace on page 493).
Page 586: 2006 Paddy Power annual report. (The company marked its 18th year with a Poker magazine cover marking a Paddy Power-sponsored world record strip poker tournament on page 588, rugby player Donnacha O'Callaghan losing his shorts and a streaker losing more on page 589).
Page 688: 2005 Paddy Power annual report.
Page 774: Playtech news releases.
Page 776: Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority corporate structure.
Page 777: Paddy Power news release on entering the French market.
Page 781: Article about Online Gaming in Kahnawake from the Nov. 6, 2011 Gaming Law Review and Economics by Kahnawake Gaming Commission lawyer Murray Marshall.
Page 791: internal GPEB email and records about the investigators' trip, travel arrangements and expenses to Dublin to inspect Paddy Power's operations.
Page 810: U.K. Gambling Commission: Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement.
Page 834: U.K. Gambling Commission: The Gambling Commission's betting integrity decision making framework.
Page 851: Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission: Online Gambling Guidance Notes for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorist Financing.
Page 943: Credit Suisse Private Banking Security Agreement.

Paddy Power to re-power B.C. Lottery Corporation online gambling

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