Paddy Power are Ireland’s largest bookmaker and also one of the biggest bookies in the UK. Their stated vision is that betting should be entertaining, fun and fair.
£30 Free Bets
They are currently offering new customers £30 of free bets via the link below – simply place a first bet of £10 and Paddy Power will give you 3 x £10 free bets:
Place a 5 team or upwards football accumulator with Paddy Power and get money back as a free bet, up to £50, if one team lets you down.
Daily Horse Racing Money-Back Special
Paddy Power will also give you your money back, as a free bet up to £25 per race, if your horse finishes 2nd to the SP Favourite – at one selected meeting every day.
Over the years Paddy Power have made some huge refunds to customers courtesy of their money-back specials and early pay-outs. For example:
Champions League Final 2011 – Barcelona v Manchester United: ‘Refund of losing bets if Barcelona win’.
European Championships 2012 – England v Italy: ‘Refund of losing bets if it goes to penalties’.
Sometimes these refunds are made before an event has finished, or even started. For example, in 1999 they paid out on Istabraq to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham the day before the race (Istabraq won comfortably).
They also paid out on New Zealand to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup days before the final against France (the All-Blacks just won 8-7).
However, these PR stunts can backfire – most spectacularly when they paid out over €1m to backers of Tiger Woods to win the US PGA after two rounds, when he was four shots clear of the field. But Tiger finished second to Y.E.Yang in what would otherwise have been a fantastic result for them.
In January 2003 they paid out early on bets on Arsenal to win the Premier League, but then had to pay out again when Man United caught Arsenal to win the title.
After the first game of the 2009/10 season they also paid out on bets for Stoke to be relegated following their 3-1 defeat to Bolton, but Stoke finished in 11th place.
Sometimes, when punters might be aggrieved at a perceived injustice, Paddies will step up and refund losing bets.
For example, at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Dustin Johnson stood on the 72nd tee with a one-shot lead over Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer. His shot landed on what looked like a worn out area of ground but he was harshly given a two shot penalty after grounding his club when rules officials deemed it to be a bunker. Paddy Power promptly refunded losing bets on DJ:
“Dustin may have to live with the fact rules have robbed him of a chance of winning a major, but we don’t have to live with such strait-jacketed nonsense. Any Johnson bets with us haven’t bitten the Dust on this occasion so its money back.”
They also refunded over £200,000 in losing bets to customers who backed Wales to beat France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final, after the Welsh captain Sam Warburton was controversially sent off after 20 minutes of the game:
“The Welsh played like heroes but Warburton’s red killed the game – and Welsh chances. Any punter who backed them to win the game never stood a chance after that so hopefully getting their money back will go a small way to soothing Welsh woes over the injustice.”
About Paddy Power
Paddy Power was formed in 1988 with the merger of three Irish high-street bookmakers, including Richard Power Bookmakers, owned by David Power.
The Power name was retained due to it’s resonance with Irish punters, while the Paddy prefix was rather inevitable, emphasising the company’s Irishness. David’s son, yes Paddy, is now the company’s PR man and head of communications.
In February 2016 they merged with Betfair to become Paddy Power Betfair, although the two brands have been kept separate.
The firm itself doesn’t appear to take their heritage (or anything) too seriously:
“Some say the name comes from two well known brands of Irish whiskey, some believe it’s a kind of Irish superhero. The truth is, we’ve forgotten”
Indeed, they are infamous for their irreverent and sometimes controversial advertising and PR strategy.
From a banned TV ad depicting four wheelchair bound men “doing a runner” from a curry house to another featuring “transgendered ladies” at Cheltenham, inviting viewers to spot the “stallions” from the “mares” (taken off the air for being discriminatory), Paddy Power are always in a mischievous mood.
During the 2007 Rugby World Cup they managed to get a Tongan player to change his name to Paddy Power by deed poll, then arranged for the entire Tongan team to dye their hair green before their match with England (the IRB stamped down and the dye was removed before the game).
Famously they also erected a 50ft Hollywood-style Paddy Power sign on the hillside overlooking Cheltenham racecourse during the 2010 Cheltenham Festival (before being forced to remove it due to having no planning permission).