Modest annual earnings growth amid falling revenues in the second half of the year – Flutter reported its 2020 earnings to PokerStars. Let’s try to figure out how PokerStars plans to do business and why they are losing market leadership.
PokerStars remains the world leader in poker, but its market share has been declining in recent years
Flutter Entertainment has released a preliminary report for 2020. A 73-page text file, a presentation with tables and graphs can be found on the official Flutter website in the Investors – Results Center – 2021 section.
Due to the merger of The Stars Group with Flutter Entertainment, the format of the report has changed slightly. Whereas earlier poker revenues were separately allocated, now all PokerStars revenues are divided into “Gaming Revenue” (which includes Poker and Casino) and “Sports Revenue” (sports betting). Poker Revenue’s net poker income, as reported by TSG, is not highlighted.
In all this madness of numbers, it became even more difficult to navigate. The report contained a lot about sports events, about the Australian and US markets, about the new German markets, about the successful merger of TSG and Flutter (and, as a result, an increase in income by reducing costs), etc.
Flutter set poker development goals: strengthen leadership, cross-sell with casinos, and tap local markets
Flutter’s report outlined several goals for the development of PokerStars.
Confirm PokerStars leadership in poker.
While PokerStars remains the world leader in poker, the company’s share of the online poker market has been declining in recent years. While gaming from computers remains important for many online poker players, it is also important to improve the customer experience on mobile devices. We launched the new PokerStars app in the third quarter, replacing the existing one that was developed in 2011, and significantly increased marketing and customer rewards to promote our brand and product.
And in one of the following points, Flutter generally went into gear.
Create simple, intuitive cross-selling opportunities.
Multi-selling provides a better economy than selling one particular product. In the near term, we will continue to focus on poker and casino cross-selling with a focus on sports products as soon as our games improve in 2022.
This paragraph reveals all Flutter (PokerStars) interest in poker. Compared to other games, the degree of interest can be displayed as follows:
Sports betting> Casino> Poker
So in the near future it can be predicted that free spins will fall out of the chest.
PokerStars continues to be the flagship poker product in the global marketplace, and Betfair will be promoted in local, closed markets. But the emphasis in poker development will also be on local markets. As reflected in the Flutter report, the investment in Adjarabet (note: Georgian room) was successful. Flutter also invested in Junglee Games, a fast-growing online rummy operator (by the way, Gene rummy was Stu Unger’s favorite game) and daily fantasy sports in India. Flutter acquired a 50.1% stake in the company in January 2021 for £ 48M and plans to acquire 100% of the business by 2025.
There is only one conclusion from all this: PokerStars is no longer interested in poker, despite the fact that it was online poker and casinos that saved the company during the global lockdown. In the first half of 2020, PokerStars’ net revenue rose 38% to £ 1,161M due to the lockdown. But in the second half of 2020, revenue fell 6% year-over-year due to a regulatory review. Also during this time, the company was engaged in investing in marketing and incentive systems.
The preliminary financial report is another reason for the players to get together, take a breath and say:
Oh, we lost such a room. But remember, under the Sheinbergs, Supernova was …
Flutter decided to reassure employees by giving away £ 1000 each
Moreover, the situation inside the company is not the most rosy either. The workers are worried. The fact is that the British Parliament plans to ban advertising of bookmakers. Flutter CEO Peter Jackson revealed that 14,000 employees received £ 1,000 each in stock after claims that professional sports would face a financial crisis if gambling ads were banned:
“We are all bookmakers at heart, we all take risks,” commented Peter Jackson.
Flutter donated £ 4.8M to Clubs in Crisis
Flutter also decided to support grassroots sports and donated £ 4.8M to sports organizations across the UK that are struggling to survive the lockdown. Cash4Clubs will partner with Made by Sport to provide grants of £ 2021 for the development of grassroots sports clubs in 2021.