Even only a precursory review of their first-half 2021 financials clearly proves that Flutter Entertainment is seeing exceptional growth in both terms of its player base and financials.
Their 2021 Interim Results report shows that the company has its player base grow by 40% year on year. In addition to its swelling player pool, the company has seen its revenues jump by 101% from £339 million to more than £684 million outside of the US.
Peter Jackson, Chief Executive, commented:
“The first half of 2021 exceeded our expectations as we made substantial progress against our operational and strategic objectives while maintaining excellent momentum in growing our player base. Our global sports businesses benefitted from further enhancements to our products and the return to more normalised sporting calendars,”
In the US Flutter, with its FanDuel product leading the charge, has acquired more than 2 million new players and reported a 159% increase in revenue worth £652 million.
Flutters New "Backstop"
Despite the North American market is a massive growth opportunity for the company the UK and Ireland are still at the centre of its financial success. The problem with the group’s success over the last 12 months is that it comes as the government of Great Britain is gearing up for an intensive review and potential revision of the current Gambling Act.
Historically the UK Gambling Commission has always defaulted to a strict protectionist position when it comes to imposing limitations on the licensed casino and betting operators in the region.
They are unlikely to look kindly on a company showing a 44% increase in new player accounts and more than hundreds of millions in additional income during a time of crisis in the country.
To show their commitment to supporting the Gambling Commission in its efforts to protect British and Irish gamblers Flutter announced that it will be imposing a monthly loss limit of £500 on all players under the age of 25 in these two regions.
Chief Executive of Flutter in the UK and Ireland, Conor Grant, said:
“People under the age of 25 are likely to be experiencing a number of significant life changes such as gaining independence for the first time and learning how to manage their finances. We want anyone who decides to gamble when they come of age to get in the habit of setting sensible spending limits.”
They have further responded to criticism of the decision by saying that it is not intended to be a punitive action rather it is a backstop or safety net for younger gamblers whose mental capacity to effectively formulate “risk regulation” is still underdeveloped.
In addition to being incredibly condescending, the statement by Grant feels like a cheap trick aimed at convincing the Gambling Commission that they are protecting the player community when it actually comes down to deflecting attention away from their massive financial gains.
While defending the decision to impose these arbitrary limitations Grant admitted that out of the 750,000 players who live in the UK and Ireland only 5% will be affected by this new loss monthly loss limit.
Rather than protecting a vulnerable player segment, this makes it appear as though they apportioned out a group of players who would be large enough to convince the Commission that they are actively working towards safer gambling while not representing any real threat to their overall financial status.
In very real terms Flutters under 25 player base is being thrown to the proverbial wolves to allow them to avoid scrutiny by the regional regulator.