Flutter Celebrating as More Return to the Betting Shops

We all missed going to our local betting shop when they were closed due to the ongoing pandemic. They are now open again and Paddy Power, who are owned by Flutter, have seen betting shop revenues rise to a level higher than before the arrival of Covid.

Since they reopened two months ago, Flutter say that UK retail revenue has reached an amount that is 7% ahead of pre-pandemic levels. This follows the rise in online gambling figures as punters saw their local shops closed. Flutter says that the number of people gambling online in the UK had gone up by nearly 60%.

Peter Jackson is the chief executive of Flutter. He said that the results for the first six months of this year had “exceeded our expectations.” The year has seen them make “substantial progress against our operational and strategic objectives while maintaining excellent momentum in growing our player base.” Revenue rose 99% to £3bn ($4.155bn) in the first half of 2021. Pre-tax profits have risen 221% to £77 million.

Flutter have also been concentrating on expanding their business in the growing US market. Over $1 billion has been spent on marketing FanDuel but the first half of 2021 has seen US revenues of over $900 million. The cost of their US expansion has affected their figures and it’s believed that it takes a year for newly registered FanDuel customers to become profitable.

The Flutter CEO said that the company remains “absolutely focused on extending our sports product advantages and replicating our market share success in further states as they regulate.” The more states that legalize betting will continue to be good news for the company as the US market continues to expand.

2020 wasn’t the year anyone expected. Bookmakers certainly didn’t anticipate a situation where the top football league being covered was in Belarus. 2021 has seen its fair share of postponements, such as the Indian Premier League cricket. However, having all the main football leagues back in full flow and Euro 2020, has helped bookmakers recover from last year.

Sports betting revenue went up by 57% to £1.8 billion. The figures for online slots and poker have seen little change though as punters return to betting on the sports they love. Peter Jackson commented that: “Our global sports businesses benefitted from further enhancements to our products and the return to more normalised sporting calendars while we sustained our strong performance in gaming despite the challenging comparatives set last year.”

There is still the job of promoting responsible gambling. Flutter say that they are developing steps that are “focused on protecting those that are vulnerable without unnecessarily impinging on the freedoms of the majority of customers”.

Now we’re in the second half of the year and the CEO says that it has “started well” for the company. They have told investors that earnings are expected to be between £1.2 and £1.3 billion outside of America but with a loss of £225 million to £275 million. However, those figures are dependent on “an uninterrupted sporting calendar for the remainder of the year and normalised sports results.”