Paddy Power has admitted that growth in the regulated Italian online gaming market has been slower than anticipated, but stressed that it remains happy with progress and that this summer’s football World Cup will be crucial to whether it achieves its target of breaking even by the end of the year.

Speaking following publication of the company’s first quarter results, the operator’s head of online Peter O’Donovan said he was pleased with how the company had executed its launch.

However, he admitted that growth in active customers had been “slower than [the company] would have liked.”

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