The new situation brought by the lockdowns and the decrease of economic activities in general resulted in a difficult period for some of UK’s betting and gambling companies. That situation is changing for the better, at least it seems so and not the least because measures that were introduced during lockdown are being lifted. English casinos reopened earlier this month, and yesterday we reported that Welsh and Scottish casinos are set to reopen.
We’ve seen a serious decline in sports betting, mainly because a lot of sports events were cancelled or postponed. But now, following the restart of all football seasons as well as other sport. We are seeing increased betting activities.
The model of Flutter Entertainment
The restart of football made a significant impact on sports betting, people were eager to start betting again, not to mention the fact that there was action pretty much every day. On top of that, a lot more football matches were televised during this period.
Companies that are offering online gaming and poker have not suffered terrible consequences, as their activities were not limited in any way.
We are yet to see what the aspect of the impact of the whole situation this year. We are expecting Flutter Entertainment, one of the largest gambling operators in the world to give an update on their performance in the first half of this year.
Flutter Entertainment is the largest player on the market and is one of the most stable companies, and it is known for its ability to diversify. Their latest acquisition was the merger with The Stars Group, a company that also owned Sky Betting and Gaming. The whole deal was $6 billion.
Many of Flutter’s competitors still rely heavily on the UK market, but Flutter decided to establish its position elsewhere. The deal included the acquisition of PokerStars, the world’s largest poker brand, as well as an increased presence in Australia.
Flutter entertainment also owns FanDuel which is one of the two largest sports fantasy sites in the US and is rapidly expanding. So, it seems that this might be the model for many UK companies.
What the future holds for the industry
While the UK marker is in many ways becoming more restrictive and there’s less room to manoeuvre and expand, the US market seems to be opening up. Multiple states have already legalised certain forms of gambling and we have reported that on a number occasions. Earlier this year, for example, we reported on the updated situation in Virginia and Michigan.
If Flutter’s numbers are stronger than what we expect in times of crisis, this could be a serious signal for other operators, an indicator that it is possible to make things work even in difficult times.
However, it is also likely that we will see a new Gambling Act this year and it is very likely that things will become more restrictive. Yes, Britain was one of the most liberal gambling market in the world, but that is likely to change. In a way we can expect an intensification of battle for the American market.