In the backdrop of a pandemic, Flutter Entertainment plc (OTC:PDYP.Y)(LSE:FLTR) has shown resilience. Flutter is a global operator of online casinos and sports betting websites, including FanDuel, Betfair, Poker Stars, and Sky Betting. The company continues to produce good financial results in a very challenging environment, even as cancellation of sporting events effectively shut down most of its sportsbook.
No sports to bet on
Flutter's sportsbook is its most popular betting product. In the United States, Flutter has established itself with its FanDuel Brand. In the U.K. and Ireland, the company operates several popular sports betting websites, including Sky Betting and Paddy Power. In Australia, Flutter owns Sportsbet, the most popular online sports betting platform.
It should be no surprise that the global cancellation of most live sporting events was a major blow to Flutter Entertainment. And with no live sports, there can't be sports betting.
To quantify the effect, Flutter's sportsbook revenue declined 32% in the U.K. and Ireland for the first half of the year. Overall, sportsbook revenue increased 16% because of a strong start to the year before the pandemic hit, but the results would have been much stronger otherwise. In contrast, online casino gaming revenue grew by 165%.
Strong online casino revenues
As in-person gatherings have been temporarily abandoned, people have had to spend more time at home and more time online. Media companies such as Netflix and Facebook have seen usage soar this year. Flutter has also seen a rise in activity in its online casino.
Online casino involves customers betting on a range of games typically found in physical casinos, such as card games, digital roulette wheels, virtual slot machines, and more. Some of these games are skill-based with a house edge, and others are games of chance with payouts controlled by mathematical formulas.
As physical casinos closed this year, virtual casinos saw a surge in player demand, driving strong financial results for Flutter. Flutter's PokerStars segment saw average daily gaming customers increase by 70% in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the prior year. Additionally, Flutter's American online casino generated revenue of 1,190 million pounds, setting a new record thanks to its acquisition of the Stars Group and the loosening of online gambling laws in states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
As the world started to return to business as usual over the summer, Flutter saw a moderation of its online casino revenue growth. However, with sports coming back, the company is poised to bring back customers to its other betting products.
Poised for a rebound
The return of professional sports is already having a positive effect on online gambling companies such as Flutter. The betting stats reported from states where gambling has been legalized show a record-breaking sports handle so far this year. And, of course, Flutter is in pole position to capture that activity, as it has some of the best brands in the business -- making Flutter an attractive growth stock for investors to consider.