A British bookmaker paid out more than £1 million after Manchester United’s shock comeback against PSG

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  • One of Britain’s biggest bookmakers paid out more £1 million ($1.3 million) after Manchester United’s surprise comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last month.
  • “Man Utd were backed heavily to qualify in the second leg vs PSG – they completed the turnaround for a seven-figure payout,” a Paddy Power Betfair spokesperson told Business Insider in an email.
  • Paddy Power Betfair also suffered from the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool and a dearth of draws in the Premier League.
  • Sportsbook sales slumped 10%, but higher sports revenue in the US and Australia and strong growth in the gaming division sent Paddy Power Betfair’s overall revenue up 17% in the first quarter of 2019.

One of Britain’s biggest bookmakers paid out more than £1 million ($1.3 million) to gamblers after Manchester United’s surprise comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

The Premier League team faced an early exit from the European soccer competition after losing 2-0 in the first game of the fixture. However, two goals from striker Romelu Lukaku and a last-minute Marcus Rashford penalty in the return match saw the club sneak through to the next round.

“Man Utd were backed heavily to qualify in the second leg vs PSG – they completed the turnaround for a seven-figure payout,” a Paddy Power Betfair spokesperson told Business Insider in an email.

Paddy Power Betfair’s first-quarter results suffered from several “customer friendly” sports results in the UK. Manchester City and Liverpool, two soccer teams that attract heavy betting interest, haven’t lost a league game since January. Moreover, there were only four draws in 34 games in the Premier League in March.

“Draws are typically bookmaker-friendly as they are the least backed option,” the spokesperson said.

Fortune didn’t favor the gambling group at the Dublin Leopardstown Festival in February either, as “a string of well-backed favorites won most of the big races,” the spokesperson added. Horse-racing revenues were also hit by a temporary suspension of fixtures thanks to an equine flu outbreak.

Paddy Power Betfair’s sportsbook sales slumped 10% due to the unfavorable sports results, sending online sports revenue down 6% to £152 million in the first three months of 2019. However, strong growth at Sportsbet in Australia and FanDuel in the US pushed overall sports revenue up 15%.

Gaming sales also rose 26%, driven by strong online demand in Europe and the US. Paddy Power Betfair’s overall revenue rose 17% to £478 million.