Each year the eGaming Review (EGR), the globe’s most-respected B2B publisher and membership network group for all aspects of online gambling, publishes its ‘Power 50’ – a rundown of the 50 most dynamic and powerful gambling companies within the online wagering world. For the tenth successive year, the Stoke-on-Trent-based online sportsbook bet365 has topped the rankings, easily beating GVC Holdings into second place.
The continued success of bet365 comes as no surprise, considering the site’s no-nonsense approach that turns up its nose at the tricks and gimmicks of other sites. It’s hard to believe that the company began life twenty years ago in a Stoke-on-Trent Portacabin with a £15 million loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Bet365 – the leading online gambling brand for the last decade
Bet365 is a company that always believes in the path it chooses to take and seldom wavers, and it’s a path that continually pays dividends. The company is jointly run by Denise Coates and her brother John. Denise has become the highest-paid executive in the UK with an astounding salary of £217 million.
Bet365 are not tax-avoiders though, unlike companies such as Amazon and Google. In 2018 the company paid their annual tax bill of £156 million, second only to JD Sports.
GVC Holdings hold on to their second-placed position from the Power 50 list of 2018. The Isle of Man-based firm has been making significant inroads into sports betting markets ever since 2012 when they purchased Sportingbet alongside William Hill. Since then they’ve gone a little acquisition-crazy, buying up Bwin.Party in 2016 and Ladbrokes Coral in 2017.
Despite the decade-long success of bet365 topping the EGR Power 50, their lofty position is most definitely under threat for 2020 by not just one company, but two. In third place again are The Stars Group and in fourth Flutter Entertainment. These two companies are currently in merger talks, and if – as expected – the merger is completed without too much hassle, it will likely the world’s leading online gambling brand.
The Flutter Entertainment/Stars Group merger threatens Bet365’s number one spot
The Stars Group is based in Canada and runs, among others, PokerStars, BetStars, Full Tilt and SkyBet. Flutter Entertainment is the new name (March 2019) for the company previously known as Paddy Power Betfair which in turn was created by the merger of those two wagering behemoths in 2015. Flutter also own SportsBet and FanDuel.
In October 2019 Flutter announced the acquisition of The Stars Group for nearly $7 billion. The merger has not, as yet, been completed.
Completing the top five (and also completing the unchanged line up from 2018) is the Kindred Group, owners of several popular online casino brands such as Unibet, 32Red and Maria Casino. Kindred began life in 1997 as Unibet, and has taken a similar approach to bet365, but has yet to match the UK company’s levels of success.
The complete top ten is as follows (last year’s position in parenthesis):
- 1 (1) Bet365
- 2 (2) GVC Holdings
- 3 (3) The Stars Group
- 4 (4) Flutter Entertainment
- 5 (5) The Kindred Group
- 6 (7) Tipico
Malta-based sports betting and casino game provider, mainly to firms in Germany.
- 7 (6) William Hill
Famous UK-based sportsbook.
- 8 (11) Gamesys
Software developer and operator based in the UK.
- 9 (8) 888 Holdings
Gibraltar-based gambling company, owner of Cassava Enterprises and Dragonfish.
- 10 (9) Betsson
Owners of Betsson, Betsafe and NordicBet, based in Stockholm.
Surprisingly, LeoVegas is the company to drop out of the top 10, falling to 13th. Can bet365 hold off the challenge of Flutter Entertainment/The Stars Group and make it eleven years in a row? There’s only a twelve month wait to find out!