PokerStars Owner in Massive Betting Merger

One of history’s largest mergers of online betting companies will change the face of the industry in the United States. This week it emerged that Flutter (formerly Paddy Power Betfair) will be merging with The Stars Group in multi-billion-dollar deal.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Flutter Entertainment, owner of FanDuel, agreed to buy The Stars Group for $6 billion, essentially creating an online gambling giant.  Flutter is listed on the London Stock Exchange with its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.  It owns multiple UK brands, including Paddy Power and Betfair.

As gambling regulations tighten in the UK and the rest of Europe, Flutter Entertainment has been searching for other investments. The group already has a presence in the fast-growing US sports betting industry through FanDuel, which runs online and retail betting in states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Toronto-based Stars Group is also a force to be reckoned with. The group owns the iconic PokerStars brand, as well as the UK-facing gambling operator, Sky Betting and Gaming.

A merger between the two entities gives them enough clout to spread across multiple gambling platforms, including online poker, sports betting and online gambling.

The deal also involves another major US conglomerate, Fox Corp. The group’s Fox Sports unit signed a deal with The Stars Group earlier this year, agreeing to offer sports betting services in regulated markets in the United States.  Fox also bought around a 5% stake into The Stars Group at the time.

Under the new set-up, the current chairman of Flutter Entertainment, Gary McCann will become chairman of the combined group. Flutter’s chief executive, Peter Jackson will see his role expand to cover the whole group.

Jackson said in a statement that he believed that the merger would boost Flutter’s expansion into new territories.

“We believe the combination of Flutter and The Stars Group will deliver substantial value for shareholders,” he said. “We will have an exceptional portfolio of leading recreational brands and best-in-class products on industry-technology platforms.”


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