If you have ever watched a football match on TV or tuned into the Grand National, then you will probably have seen an advert from Flutter. They are one of the biggest gambling companies in the world and have a presence in nearly every legal gambling market.
Their meteoric rise to the top of the gambling ladder has been a fast one, leaving many competitors behind, or even buying them up. Having conquered Europe, the operator has its sight set firmly on the US, with talks of a US stock exchange flotation.
Flutter Entertainment is an Irish gambling holding company that was created in February 2016. The company is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange and forms part of the FTSE 100 Index. There are various brands that complete the company and Flutter has come a long way since the day it began life as an Irish bookmaker.
British and Irish sports fans are likely to know the name PaddyPower as they are one of the biggest online gambling brands in the UK and Ireland. Even those who do not bet on sports but like to watch major sporting events will know PaddyPower as they have a heavy advertising presence, both in stadia and on television. PaddyPower was formed in 1988 by David Power, John Corcoran, and Stewart Kenny as they merged their betting shops to create one company. Power Leisure, which was the parent company of Paddy Power PLC, was listed on the London Stock Exchange in December 2000 to raise money for a launch into the UK. One of the ways PaddyPower generated a lot of publicity was by offering betting odds on controversial markets. They have since used television advertisements to draw attention, such as an advert including Rhodri Giggs, the brother of former Manchester United footballer, Ryan. PaddyPower continues to operate as a successful online bookmaker in the UK and they have several betting shops in the UK and Ireland.
Merger with Betfair
In February 2016, PaddyPower merged with Betfair to create PaddyPower Betfair. The terms for the merger between the two rivals were agreed upon in September 2015 and the business structure was owned 48% by the former Betfair shareholders with the remaining 52% by the former Paddy Power shareholders. This made the former PaddyPower shareholders the majority shareholders of the new company. Despite being rivals before the merger, Betfair offered something different to PaddyPower as they developed the world’s largest online betting exchange. This allowed peer-to-peer betting rather than betting against the odds set by the bookmaker. However, Betfair also offered a standard sportsbook and the website has been running successfully since 2000. Much like PaddyPower, Betfair added a casino to their portfolio and both Betfair and PaddyPower now offer a casino and live casino.
FanDuel and Other Brands
Not satisfied with the merger between PaddyPower and Betfair, the PaddyPower Betfair Group started acquiring other online gambling brands such as Sky Bet, as well as those in the United States and Canada. FanDuel is a good example and part of the reason PaddyPower Betfair was keen to add FanDuel to their portfolio was to gain a strong foothold in the US market, main thanks to the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Not satisfied with the addition of FanDuel, PaddyPower Betfair added Adjarabet, an online gambling company based in Georgia, before rebranding the name of the company to Flutter Entertainment. The name change happened in March 2019 and since then, Flutter has been busy adding more gambling brands to their company, including Canadian gambling operator The Stars Group, Italy’s top online games provider Sisal Gaming, and online bingo company Tombola, to name but a few.
US Stock Market
Flutter has been keen to increase its presence in the young US online gambling market and this helped drive growth in 2022. In January 2022, the FanDuel sportsbook was launched in New York and Louisiana and has since expanded to include the province of Ontario in Canada. Competition has increased in the online gambling market in the United States, especially mobile casino gambling. Fully regulated online casino gambling is only available in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Delaware. However, there is nothing stopping licensed mobile casinos from offering their services in the US and the competition is fierce. Flutter has recently discussed with shareholders the possibility of listing its shares in the United States. This would come as a huge blow to the London Stock Exchange but with FanDuel becoming the biggest driver of revenue for Flutter, it makes sense. The move to the US would complete a remarkable journey for the company, which started as a merger of forty betting shops in Ireland.