Paddy Power/William Hill: poor bets
Talk about jumping the gun. Three weeks before America went to the polls, the Irish bookie Paddy Power made early payments totalling around £800,000 to punters who had backed Hillary Clinton – having gambled on Trump’s election campaign being “all but finished”, said Harriet Alexander in The Daily Telegraph. Red faces now abound. “Boy, did we get it wrong,” admitted a spokesman last week reflecting on the painful result, which means the bookie must now pay £4m to clients who’d backed Trump. Over at beleaguered rival William Hill, however, things are looking up, said Dominic Walsh in The Times. The betting group – “which is still looking for a permanent chief executive” and recently had a merger deal with a Canadian rival scuppered by its own shareholders – has appointed “a trio of heavyweight non-executive directors”, including former big cheeses from Coral and Betfair. Bully for William Hill, said Nils Pratley in The Guardian. Having been “cruelly exposed” for having a boardroom crammed with “non-specialists”, it has finally landed some with actual experience of the gambling industry. About time.