Casino gamers and sports betting fans will have to adjust to a major shakeup in the betting landscape with the creation of a new global betting giant that is reputedly worth over £10 billion.
The merger between Flutter, which owns Betfair and Paddy Power and the Canadian-based Stars Group, which bought UK betting platform Sky Bet in 2018, was initially suggested last October but wasn’t given approval by the UK Competition and Markets Authority until March. Australian betting regulators have also investigated and approved the merger.
According to figures for 2018, the combined annual revenue of the group would have been £3.8 billion in 2018, which would make it the world’s biggest online gaming and betting company.
The deal was finalised on Tuesday morning after shareholders from both companies formally voted in favour. According to Stars and Flutter, the merger will help them to save as much as £140 million in costs. They have also targeted the US market as an area of potential expansion at a time when the regulatory framework in the UK is being tightened.
Speaking about the merger, the Group Chief Executive at Flutter, Peter Jackson, said that the new group would boast an experienced and talented team, as well as a diverse presence in the global betting market, with a strong portfolio of assets. He also took the opportunity to reassure punters and regulators alike that the new group would be focused on responsibility:
“Both businesses have a strong legacy of leadership when it comes to responsible gambling. As a combination, we are determined to deliver on our commitment to drive a race to the top when it comes to responsible gambling best practice across the sector.”
Flutter are estimated to have over six million customers, while the Stars Group can boast over seven million in more than 100 national markets. The merger represents a continuation of the consolidation trend within the gambling industry, which has faced considerable regulatory challenges in recent years.