Chops: Why Flutter’s Takeover Of The Stars Group Is Good For US Gamblers

Written By Chops on October 9, 2019 - Last Updated on May 31, 2021

The on-going consolidation of the global gambling market continues, as Flutter Entertainment announced last week that it will acquire The Stars Group.

Among key properties in the Flutter portfolio are Paddy Power Betfair and FanDuel. The Stars Group owns PokerStars and Sky Bet.

According to Refinitiv data, the two companies combined have a market value of around $12B USD and 13 million active customers in 100 markets.

But is the Flutter acquisition of Stars good for US customers?

While their competitors are likely screaming, “NO!” the reality is this acquisition is fantastic both in the short- and long-term for US customers.

Here’s why:

  1. First, it creates a clear market leader in the US. FanDuel Sportsbook is already winning in New Jersey and Pennsylvania sports betting. Through their FOX Sports partnership, they have extensive media reach. And with PokerStars’ customer base, they have the ability to cross-market to and reach new gaming-friendly customers regularly. Having a dominant entity like this drives product innovation and creative customer acquisition campaigns among its competitors.
  2. This competition and arms race provides benefits to US customers. US customers benefit from aggressive onboarding promotions and simply through better products and betting markets.
  3. And this will expand legal sports betting in the states more quickly. The legal sports betting train has already left the station. It’s not slowing down. However, such a massive deal with this level of financial resources will only speed up the lobbying and legislative efforts going on in other states. It’s important to remember (and Stars knows this better than anyone), outside of China, the US market presents the best opportunity for growth. It’s mostly untapped. It’s proven to be massively profitable. Legal sports betting will spread faster.

So FanDuel is the top sports betting brand in the US now, right?

This isn’t your father’s DFS platform anymore.

FanDuel Sportsbook is the biggest brand in the US, and it might not be that close.

FanDuel Group will be combined with FOX Bet/Stars to create a single platform. Both brands though will continue to serve the US. FOX obviously provides massive reach for promotions (both through direct advertising or via integrated campaign on TV broadcasts and live streams).

Through partnerships with Boyd Gaming and Penn National, they’ll have access to 24 total states.

Expect any discussions other competitor US operators are having to speed up. FanDuel has an open window to run away with the US market. It’ll be shocking not to hear of another major acquisition or partnership from one of their competitors before the end of Q4.

For more on the impact of the Flutter/TSG deal, visit Legal Sports Report.

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Steve “Chops” Preiss has 15 years of experience in the gaming industry. Chops began writing and producing content for digital media sites during the early poker-boom years. He has twice been voted by his peers as one of the 20 Most Influential People in Poker. Chops has also written and produced segments for a primetime gaming TV show on Versus (now NBC Sports Network) and distributed a poker program to over 160M global households.

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