The combined company of Paddy Power and Betfair has been rebranded to become Flutter Entertainment. The move comes after the company’s shareholders backed the move in overwhelming fashion earlier this month. The change happens with immediate effect, including a change to the ticker symbol of FLTR on both the London Stock Exchange and the Euronext in Dublin.
The decision to rebrand was outlined in March when the company announced its financial results for last year. The results included the fact that Paddy Power Betfair had enjoyed year-on-year growth of 7%, which amounted to an increase to £1.9 billion. 99.76% of the votes cast during the Annual General Meeting were in favour of the name change, which was done with global markets in mind.
A Move Driven by the United States?
Speaking about the decision to implement the name change, the Chief Executive Office of the newly named Flutter Entertainment, Peter Jackson, said, “I think it’s a great opportunity to better reflect the global nature of our organisation and the diverse set of challenger brands we have operating around the world.” It’s perhaps no coincidence that the news comes as the company looks to make waves over the Atlantic.
Flutter Entertainment’s stake in the market in the United States of America was expanded in July of 2018 thanks to the merger of Betfair US and FanDuel, a fantasy sports giant. Jackson said, “The opening of the US online sports betting market has the potential to be the most significant development to occur within the sector since the advent of online betting.” A rebrand is, therefore, well-timed.
Having lost market share in the United Kingdom to companies, such as William Hill and Betfred, the people behind Flutter Entertainment want to make sure that they don’t face the same problems in the United States of America. Coming up with the new-look brand is a way of making sure that the organisation can launch itself in the US in a fresh and vibrant manner, appealing to a massive market there.
It’s also interesting that the confirmation of the rebrand comes in the wake of GVC Holdings, which is the company that owns both Ladbrokes and Coral, receiving permission to operate in the state of Nevada after gaining the required regulatory approvals from the state’s Gaming Commission. It means that Roar Digital, a joint-venture between GVC and MGM Resorts, can operate there for two years.
What It Means for the Brands
Whilst the rebrand will doubtless have long-term repercussions for the brands that come under the Flutter Entertainment umbrella, in the short-term nothing will happen. The rebrand is for the overall company that was previously known as Paddy Power Betfair, as opposed to the individual companies of Paddy Power and Betfair. As a result, they will continue trading with the same names and branding.
Having garnered an impressive reputation as the best exchange bookmaker in the industry, Betfair would be reluctant to lose that name recognition. Equally, Paddy Power has worked had to establish itself in the United Kingdom as a betting brand to be taken serious, having already become well-known in the company’s native Ireland. Neither company will lose their name any time soon.
Confirming as much, Peter Jackson said:
While we are changing our name, most things aren’t going to change today. We have a fantastic group of challenger brands operating around the world that enable six million customers to bring entertainment to life. Our colleagues are looking after those customers in a responsible way to make sure they can enjoy their time with Flutter.
In addition to Paddy Power and Betfair, the other brands that come under the newly rebranded Flutter Entertainment include Sky Bet, Adjarabet in Georgia, Sportsbet in Australia and the poker site PokerStars. TVG, which is a broadcaster for live horse racing, is also owned by Flutter Entertainment, as is Fox Bet, which is a collaboration between Flutter Entertainment and Fox Sports.
Where the Name Comes From
The new name that the Paddy Power Betfair company has taken on comes from the early days of Betfair’s existence. At the time, Betfair was a burgeoning exchange betting company but didn’t yet have the market dominance that it enjoys today. One of its rivals in the exchange world was Flutter, which Betfair acquired in 2002 in order to become the clear market leader when it came to betting on the exchange.
It appears as though the rebrand to Flutter Entertainment is a nod to the company that Betfair absorbed into its operation on its way to becoming one of the world’s foremost exchange betting companies. During its early years, Flutter was seen by many as the superior exchange betting firm but it didn’t resonate with bettors in the same way as Betfair, so the latter company ultimately won the battle of wills.