Thursday January 24,2013 : LATEST PADDY POWER AD TAKES A POKE AT THE FINANCIAL WORLD
 
Italian stunt underlines online gambling group's regional success
 
Workaholics at the Milan stock exchange still at their desks after closing hours Wednesday evening were more than a little surprised to find that their building had become a giant billboard for online gambling group Paddy Power's latest ‘cheeky' publicity stunt.
 
The gambling company projected giant images that included a slot machine onto the building to publicise its increasingly successful penetration into the Italian online gambling market, according to a Reuters report.
 
The material had a sting in the tail for financial services execs, portraying the famous ‘middle finger' sculpture by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and a message reading: "Dealers, financiers, bankers… once in a while play with your own money".
 
Paddy Power is challenging major Italian companies like Lottomatica, Sisal, and Snai for top market share, with regional md Giovanna D'Esposito claiming: "We are very close to that target," at the presentation.
 
Reuters notes that Paddy Power's share of Italy's online sports betting market rose to 5.1 percent in December from 2.6 percent in September, according to regulator AAMS.
 
Lottomatica is the group to beat for the top spot; it leads with a 15.6 percent market share.
 
Paddy Power entered Italy's recently liberalised gaming industry last May and launched its online casino products in December. It plans to add skill games, poker and bingo in 2013, while boosting its highly successful mobile offerings.
 
D'Esposito revealed that there are plans to increase staffing in Italy by 30 percent to a total of 50 in 2013.