The Stars Group (TSG) has officially merged with Flutter Entertainment Plc, meaning the online betting and gaming world now has a new market leader.
The multibillion-dollar merger has been in the offing since October 2019 and was officially completed on Tuesday.
With the deal done, PokerStars’ parent company(TSG) will combine with Flutter Entertainment (formerly Paddy Power Betfair) to create a new mega-operator.
TSG and Flutter Continue Merger Trend
Acquisitions and mergers have become commonplace in the gaming sector over the past decade. In an effort to survive the tough times, many of the industry’s leading operators have joined forces.
PokerStars became TSG after its parent company, The Rational Group, was bought by Amaya in 2014. Similarly, Paddy Power merged with Betfair in 2016 to create Paddy Power Betfair (now Flutter Entertainment).
These deals, and others, have changed the landscape of online gaming and created super entities. However, the union of TSG and Flutter takes things to a new level.
The new company’s annual revenue will exceed $4.7 billion. Moreover, Flutter Entertainment is now worth in excess of $12 billion. That’s more than double its closest rivals Bet365 and GVC Holdings.
In addition to changing the game financially, the new entity owns some of the industry’s biggest brands. Alongside PokerStars, Paddy Power, and Betfair, Flutter Entertainment counts FanDuel, Sky Betting and Gaming, and FOX Bet among its subsidiaries.
International brands aside, the new entity also owns a number of local operators. Adjarabet is a leading name in Georgia, while Sportsbet and Easybet give Flutter interests in Australia.
Global Reach, Local Focus for Flutter Entertainment
Flutter’s new corporate structure will maintain a level of specificity. Although members of the TSG board will join their counterparts to define an overarching strategy, the company will keep its local focus.
In previous statements, it’s been confirmed that Flutter Entertainment will employ a federal operating strategy. This will give regional divisions a degree of autonomy and allow each brand to maintain a certain amount of independence.
This is something the UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) took into account before greenlighting the merger. With the new company listed on the London Stock Exchange, the CMA wanted to ensure the new entity wouldn’t cause a “substantial lessening of competition.”
The investigation ran from February until the end of April when the CMA determined a tie-up won’t negatively impact consumers. While consumers may not be disadvantaged, other operators might be.
Another Turning Point in Online Betting and Gaming
With the merger now complete, Flutter Entertainment could become even bigger than it already is. What’s more, with coronavirus potentially causing lasting changes in the way we interact, the internet could become more important than ever to gaming operators.
As more people seek out online entertainment, Flutter will be in a position to capitalize better than most. Even though PokerStars has strong competition from Partypoker and GGPoker, the casino and betting arms of Flutter could clean up in a post-coronavirus world.
Whatever results from the merger, it’s a significant milestone for the industry. With a new mega-operator out there, other companies may have to follow suit. Indeed, that’s what’s happened over the last decade.
The market has unified since the early noughties and the latest merger will only make similar moves more likely in the future.