Paddy Power Co-Founder David Power Dies At 77

Erik Gibbs

david power

David Power, the co-founder of the Irish bookmaking giant Paddy Power, passed away on Monday at the age of 77 following a long illness. The news was announced by Flutter Entertainment, the current owner of Paddy Power.

Power’s legacy extends far beyond the green shamrock logo and witty marketing campaigns synonymous with Paddy Power. He was a key figure in transforming the Irish bookmaking scene from a localized, traditional industry to a global powerhouse.

While Power’s name became synonymous with Paddy Power in recent decades, his family’s roots in the world of betting run deep. The Power family history in the industry stretches back to 1895, when his grandfather, Richard Power, established Richard Power Bookmakers, a betting operation centered around Tramore Racecourse in County Waterford, Ireland.

David Power entered the industry in the 1970s after qualifying as a chartered accountant. He joined Richard Power Bookmakers, the family business, and quickly rose through the ranks.

The turning point came in 1988 when David Power, along with John Corcoran and Stewart Kenny, decided to combine their respective bookmaking businesses into a mega-operation. This led to the birth of Paddy Power, a name chosen through a public competition.

The newly formed Paddy Power quickly captured the imagination of Irish bettors. The brand embraced a more lighthearted and humorous approach to marketing, setting itself apart from the more traditional bookmakers of the time. Their witty slogans and playful advertising campaigns resonated with a younger generation, propelling Paddy Power to national prominence.

Beyond the marketing, Paddy Power thrived on innovation. It was one of the first bookmakers to embrace new technologies, offering telephone betting in the early 1990s and pioneering online betting platforms in the late 1990s. This forward-thinking approach allowed Paddy Power to capture a significant share of the growing online gambling market.

An industry stalwart

David Power remained a key figure in Paddy Power’s leadership until his retirement in 2018, just after the Cheltenham Festival, a prestigious horse racing event in England. He had witnessed Paddy Power’s meteoric rise from a regional bookmaker to a dominant player in the Irish and, eventually, the global gambling market.

In 2016, Paddy Power joined forces with its Irish rival, Betfair, in a merger that created Paddy Power Betfair plc. This move further solidified its position as a major force in the international online gambling scene. That merger led to the emergence of Flutter Entertainment.

In 2019, Paddy Power Betfair merged with another gambling giant, The Stars Group, the current owner of the Paddy Power brand. Last year, the company reported total revenue of almost $12 billion. Today, Flutter Entertainment is a global gambling giant with a market capitalization exceeding $28 billion.

Power’s passing marks the end of an era for Paddy Power. David Power was a visionary leader who played a pivotal role in shaping the modern face of Irish and international bookmaking. His legacy will undoubtedly continue to be felt within the gambling industry for years to come.

Beyond his professional achievements, Power was also a successful racehorse owner alongside his wife, Sabena. The couple enjoyed notable victories with horses like Sole Power and Slade Power, both Group 1 winners.