Flutter, the Irish gambling giant that owns FanDuel, began trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, bringing the US’s largest sports-betting operator to Wall Street investors.
CEO Peter Jackson told Business Insider he hopes the move to list in the US and plans to shift its primary listing to New York from London will get people to look at the business differently.
“People know us as the parent company of FanDuel, but we own brands which are equally famous in many markets around the world,” Jackson said. “It’s a great opportunity to bring the world’s leading sports betting and gaming business to the world’s leading capital market.”
Flutter operates a slew of gambling brands, including Paddy Power and Betfair in Europe, PokerStars, and Sportsbet in Australia.
Jackson said he believes the US listing will help the company win media attention and new investors.
“We’ve long felt that we have not had as much of natural news coverage in America because we didn’t have a listing here, and it’s been interesting just today seeing the splash that having Flutter listed on the markets has and will bring to our business and it’s something that we were keen to put in place,” Jackson told BI on Monday.
Shares of Flutter, which began trading based on their price on the London Stock Exchange, popped 3.4% during intraday trading on their first day.
In the US, FanDuel is the No. 1 online-sports-betting operator by gross gaming revenue, according to data on the 12 months ending in November from research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. The sportsbook has dominated the US market, alongside rival DraftKings, as legal sports betting has expanded nationwide.
But DraftKings, which up until this week was the only pure-play sports-betting stock on the US public market, has been coming for FanDuel’s lunch. DraftKings narrowly edged out in August FanDuel’s market-share lead in the broader online gambling space that includes casino-style games, per EKG. Other competitors, including Penn Entertainment’s ESPN Bet and Fanatics, are also shaking the space.
Jackson said offering a better product by taking what the company has learned in other markets and applying them to the US is key to FanDuel’s strategy to stay on top. The app gained an edge in the US in part by introducing the same-game parlay to the market, a feature adapted from its sister sportsbook in Australia that most major sportsbooks have since copied.
“Having the best product” and “investing heavily” in sales and marketing to promote it helps the company stay ahead of competitors, Jackson said. “It’s not straightforward, but we can definitely do it because we can leverage all of the resources we have globally to harvest.”
Product innovation is a core focus area for many operators this year, particularly with few new states expected to roll out legal sports betting.
FanDuel’s media business
FanDuel has also expanded in recent years from partnering with media companies and personalities like Pat McAfee to operating its own media businesses as it works to increase reach and engagement.
“FanDuel is undoubtedly a media business,” Jackson said. “Media in its broader sense is absolutely what we do.”
The company operates a horseracing and betting-focused TV channel, FanDuel TV, which it rebranded from TVG and broadcasts races in the US. It also launched a streaming network, FanDuel TV+.
Jackson expects FanDuel to continue to lean into and build its media prowess to engage its 4 million average monthly players in the US.
Flutter’s US listing could also draw more attention to US sports-betting and online-gambling stocks and encourage more companies to go public.
“That has the potential to be a catalyst to change investor perception around the entire sector and I really hope that that’s the case,” said Charles Gillespie, CEO of Gambling.com Group, an affiliate-marketing company in the industry that went public in the US in 2021.
Macquarie gaming analyst Chad Beynon said Flutter’s roughly $35 billion market cap puts it among the biggest gaming companies in the US, in line with casino giant Las Vegas Sands.
“This makes the overall space more important for the overall investment community,” Beynon said.
US sports-betting stocks rebounded in the last year after a rough 2022 when Wall Street pressured operators to rein in spending and prove they could become profitable. Operators DraftKings, Rush Street Interactive, Caesars Entertainment, and data companies Genius Sports and Sportradar all posted gains in 2023.
“Investors have been eager to invest in the leaders, particularly the ones which are profitable,” Beynon said, though he added that having an investment alternative in Flutter “shortens the leash on missteps” for rivals including DraftKings.
Flutter grew revenue in 2023 by 25% year over year to £9.5 billion ($12 billion), with quarterly US revenues increasing 26% during the fourth quarter, per preliminary results released by the company reported earlier this month.
Research firm Jefferies estimates the company will post EBITDA, a measure of profitability, of £1.53 billion for the year, Earnings+More reported. Jefferies estimates that figure will rise to £2.8 billion in 2026 as Flutter’s US division becomes its largest profit center.
Jackson said he believes the company’s US listing could be a boon for Flutter since sports-betting stocks have traded at higher volumes in the US than in other capital markets like in Europe.
“People are prepared to take bigger positions, bigger equity positions in the company because they know that they get in and out more quickly,” Jackson said. “That, in turn, should help the business.”
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