The year 2020 has been anything but easy for the gambling industry. Flutter Entertainment, in particular, has proven its resilience during these challenging times managing to maintain its top position in the sports betting industry. Flutter is a worldwide operator of online casinos as well as sports betting websites all over the world.
Some of the recognizable brand names under Flutter’s belt include PokerStars, Betfair, SkyBetting, Paddy Power, and of course its most popular offering yet, FanDuel. In Australia, the operator also runs Sportsbet, the most popular online sports wagering platform in the country. Despite the setbacks, Flutter and FanDuel in particular have continuously proven their prowess as we’ve covered here and have even produced impressive results even in the wake of sports cancellations that rendered its sportsbook business practically useless.
The absence of sports was a major blow to the sports betting industry
Unsurprisingly, the international cancellation of major live sporting events had a devastating impact on not Flutter Entertainment’s revenue numbers. All other operators similarly recorded low revenues during the lockdown period so it’s not just Flutter that was impacted badly by the absence of live sports. The premise is simple; no live sports, no betting.
The absence of live sports had such a considerable impact that Flutter’s revenues in the UK declined by almost 32%, which should easily put things into perspective. At the start of the year, the UK market had already recorded a strong start-up until the pandemic swooped in to change all that.
Sports operators such as FanDuel were all poised for a big moment in the industry before the pandemic. Now as individuals slowly acclimatize themselves to their new normal, sports gambling numbers are steadily on the rise again. Of course, the return of live sports has certainly helped to speed things along.
Summer was a sportsbook’s dream come true. The months between July and September were a bonanza for sports fans and operators alike. With most leagues being forced to restart their seasons in late summer, bettors could gamble simultaneously on basketball, football, baseball, as well as hockey.
For the first time in history, punters had the option to place wagers on all 4 major sports, which never happens. And sportsbooks benefited from this recent oddity in the sports calendar. As sports made a comeback, shares of Flutter Entertainment (PDYPF) also soared more than 80% during the 3rd quarter.
Now that live sports are back fully, more and more states are voting to legalize sports wagering, which is great news for the gambling industry as a whole. FanDuel will likely keep recording solid results as things continue to stabilize. FanDuel is already in 11 states thus far and hopes to launch operations in Michigan and Virginia, which both legalized sports betting earlier in the year, at the start of the coming year 2021.
No sports, no problem
Things, alternatively, were a lot different for online gaming. In contrast, online gaming revenue experienced a boost during the lockdown. With the outbreak causing the shutdown of all brick and mortar casinos as well as the cancellation of the NCAA tournaments, physical casinos were all but decimated. But bookmakers such as FanDuel quickly found ways to adapt to online casino games and virtual sports.
FanDuel and other bookmakers have benefited greatly during the pandemic as more people relied on their phones to wager on online casinos and fantasy games. Now that sports teams are back in action, the number of mobile bets being made has gone off the roof. This means that there has been an acceleration of growth overall, which is great news for all parties involved.
But this boost in growth has come at a cost. Now more than ever, FanDuel will have to amp-up its advertising and marketing if it wants to remain at the top of the leader board. While FanDuel is still sitting pretty on top, several other prominent companies such as Penn Gaming are stepping app in a bid to steal market share. Gaming behemoth MGM’s BetMGM app is also making major moves in the industry that could threaten FanDuel’s position.
The good news is that increased competition in the industry is great for gambling operators as it helps to develop and mature the market a lot faster. It is also great news for the punters themselves as they will now have more variety than before. As more states look to legalize sports gambling and the expansion of the industry continues, there will be more than enough business to go around.
Sports wagering and online gaming could balloon to eventually become a multi-billion business as more and more individuals take to their mobile phones to place wagers on their favorite teams, as well as to partake in their favorite online casino games.
Already in the Garden State, which is by far the most mature sports market outside Nevada, sports betting generated an impressive $803.1million in revenue for October, $91m of which came from online casino revenue. As you can probably expect, the FanDuel/Meadowlands partnership took top honors with betting revenue of $29.8m, more than twice the $14.6m generated by the runner up DraftKings.
As the legal framework continues to become more open and accepting of sports wagering, specifically as it related to mobile and iGaming, more and more companies in the gambling space are offering their customers more and more wagering options. Increasingly, companies such as FanDuel are making major developments in creating easy to use systems, as well as entering partnerships with various sports leagues aimed at benefiting punters.
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