Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group Set To Merge

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Advika Kochar

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Things are always on the move in the world of online casino. As the year draws to a close, one particularly impressive merger is set to be confirmed, creating a formidable partnership between two titans of the industry – The Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment.

What is Flutter Entertainment?

Casino players are likely to be quite familiar with The Stars Group, mainly because of their flagship product PokerStars. Other brands under the company’s ownership include Sky Betting & Gaming and Betstars, all focused on online casino games.

Flutter Entertainment is perhaps a less familiar name. Formerly called Paddy Power Betfair plc, the holding company was created in 2015, after the two bookmakers merged their operations. It rebranded to Flutter Entertainment in 2019 and now controls online products such as FanDuel, the TVG Network and Sportsbet. To say Flutter Entertainment is a big deal in online sports betting would be an understatement!

Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group Set To Merge - India CasinoTop Banner 01More merger details

Flutter announced the merger last week, saying that the all-share deal would see Flutter absorbing The Stars Group to control a 54.64% stake while TSG retained 45.36%. Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said that the two entities had briefly discussed the merger as far back as 2018 but it was only in the past few months that the option was revisited.

Altogether, the combined brands will include a vast array of online casino products and sports betting sites. Paddy Power, Betfair and FanDuel will be joined by Adjarabet, BetEasy and Fox Bet underneath the Flutter umbrella. The Stars Group’s top-notch online casinos PokerStars, BetStars and others will round out the varied collection.

The estimated annual revenue for this supersized group of brands hovers around £3.8 billion, with earnings in the region of £1.14 billion. The merger is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2020, although we wouldn’t start popping the champagne corks just yet.

Licensing and operations

Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group Set To Merge - India CasinoTop Element 01The Stars Group is based in Toronto while Flutter’s main operations are located in the UK. Put together, all the brands forming part of the merger face a total of 5 different jurisdictions, which means that licensing and regulation are going to be tricky. Given that the newly formed entity will cover almost 40% of the Australian and UK online casino markets, regulators will be taking a very close look at the new Flutter Entertainment.

Once licensing and regulation issues are sorted, there will be some changes to how Flutter is organised internally too. The Stars Group will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange, while Flutter will remain listed on the London exchange. Operations will be managed out of Flutter’s current location in Dublin.

Flutter’s CEO Peter Jackson and CFO Jonathan Hill will retain their current roles. The Stars Group’s CEO Rafi Ashkenazi will take on the role of Flutter’s COO. A new board of directors will be appointed and will include Jackson, Ashkenazi and Hill alongside chair Gary McGann and five Flutter directors and three Stars Group directors as non-executive members. Former Sky Bet CEO Richard Flint will join the team after the merger is completed.

The future of sports betting and online casino play?

This merger comes on the back of several similar moves for these two companies. Paddy Power and Betfair’s blockbuster merger in 2015 was followed by the company’s acquisition of FanDuel in 2018 and The Stars Group picked up Sky Betting & Gaming that same year.

There’s no telling what the future holds but such bold moves are likely to mean positive things for online casino players and sports betting fans.

Advika Kochar
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4 stars
  • 80%

  • Advika Kochar
  • Reviewed by:
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  • Last modified: October 19, 2019