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Flutter mourns passing of co-founder David Power

| By Robert Fletcher
Paddy Power co-founder, David Power has died at the age of 77, Flutter Entertainment announced.
Paddy Power David Power

Power passed away peacefully on 8 July, surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren, Flutter said. 

While Power was a mainstay in the industry for several decades, the family has been associated with betting far longer. The Powers can trace their heritage back to odds compilers at Tramore Racecourse in Ireland 1895.

Power ran the family betting shop business for a number of years before deciding to expand. In 1988 he partnered Stewart Kenny and Vincent O’Reilly, who had sold Kenny O’Reilly Bookmakers to Coral a few years prior. 

Paddy Power brand is born

Kenny and O’Reilly had gone on to open 10 shops of their own, with these merging with the Power family’s 30 shops. From here, the Paddy Power brand was established, with all shops rebranded to reflect the change.

It takes the name from David’s son, who continues to serve as a marketing spokesman for the brand today.

Paddy Power continued to grow throughout the 1990s, with David Power serving as CEO from 1988 to 2002. During this period it expanded online and added casino to its product offering.

While Power stepped down as CEO in the early 2000s, he remained on the board until 2013. In that time, the operator went from strength to strength, listing on both the Irish and London Stock Exchanges in 2000. In addition, it was the first bookmaker to launch on the Apple app store in 2010.

“As both a sharp bettor and an accomplished chartered accountant, David always had invaluable insights and challenging questions for successive management teams as a supportive shareholder, whether with regard to performance, product or, usually, our pricing,” Flutter said.

“While he formally left the Paddy Power board in 2013, he always maintained a strong presence around the business.”

Paddy Power goes global

Another key turning point came after his exit when, in February 2016, Paddy Power merged with Betfair. Just a couple of years later, the enlarged business also acquired FanDuel, transforming the US-facing daily fantasy sports operator into the market leading sportsbook brand in the country.

A year later, the group dropped its Paddy Power Betfair operating name to rebrand as Flutter Entertainment. Months later, it agreed a mega-merger with The Stars Group, taking ownership of yet more high-profile brands including PokerStars and SkyBet.

The business has grown further through deals for Tombola, Sisal and Adjarabet, with revenue growing 24.7% year-on-year to $11.79bn (£9.32bn/€10.87bn) in 2023.

While Paddy Power was dropped from the corporate name it remains one of the most recognisable brands in the industry.

“David was immensely proud that his plucky Irish business, with its 40 shops initially, paved the way for Flutter to become the global leader in online sports betting and igaming it is today,” Flutter said.

“Everyone at Flutter, including Paddy Power colleagues past and present, offer the Power family our condolences. May David rest in peace.”

iGB would like to pass on its condolences to the Power family and all those who worked with or knew David Power.

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