You think there’s a good deal of competition, with hundreds of brands now vying for our pennies and might look at the gambling and gambling industry. Many companies though they may seem independent, are actually part of the same group, and you’ll likely never know it. Like many markets, there are in fact the rest and a couple of players are left to scramble.
It isn’t just the old high street bookies like Betfred and William Hill that occupy the top spots in the largest. Many ancient only bookmakers have conquered earliest exchange, and the world’s biggest and the old land based operators, such as Bet365. Behemoth bookies have been generated by mergers between Betfair and huge companies such as Ladbrokes and Coral and Paddy Power. These giants have further merged to create collosus billion pound companies such as GVC and The Stars Group. As it risks becoming a monopoly of a massive businesses markets of bookmaking in britain the future is in the balance.
In this article we examine the UK gaming industry’s development, the size of the profits made to online betting and gambling together with the progressive switch.
Largest Betting Companies
Mergers are often just about money. The merger between Betfair and Paddy Power in 2016 to make the third biggest brand was beneficial to both parties, although coral didn’t really bring anything new to Ladbrokes for instance.
The team finished a second merger with The Stars Group, owner of Games & Sky Betting, PokerStars and a host of other poker related sites. Collectively this group overnight became the largest betting firm in the world in terms of revenue and market share (38% online market share at the time of the takeover). Unlike GVC the new Flutter Stars Group has a more diverse portfolio and a international reach so it’s likely they will go to strengthen their position.
Paddy Power, one of Ireland’s largest bookmakers, was founded in 1988 but it was the age that saw the brand come to life through its advertising strategies that were controversial. Holding over 600 stores across the UK and Ireland and boasting retail revenues of almost #1 billion Paddy Power attracted the real world places, marketing strategy and cash to the merger.
Betfair on the other hand had a very different history in the industry. Launching as a peer-peer betting exchange rather than a traditional bookie Betfair became the biggest of its type in no time. Betfair are the party in the merger, generating less than #500 million in revenue. When it was formed and Betfair 48 percent of the Flutter company for this reason 52 percent were received by PP shareholders.
GVC Holdings (Ladbrokes, Coral, Gala + Others)
William Hill were ousted from top spot after the merger in 2016 of Britain’s second and third biggest bookmakers in 2015, finished 2016.
In 2018 the new group was further purchased by GVC in a deal worth around #4 billion, including additional capability to the brand on an global scale.
Ladbrokes, Britain’s oldest gambling company founded in 1886, and Coral have over 200 years of being a bookmaker between them, experience. The group own nearly 4000 betting shops, although were forced to market 300 in their 2016 merger over, and are two of the brands on the high street.
Coral, started by Joe Coral an on track bookmaker from the 1920’s, grew rapidly following legalisation of off-course betting shops in 1961, becoming one of the bookies to take advantage. Merging with another company in 1971 to become Coral Leisure the group was obtained by Bass in 1981. Ladbrokes made their first attempt to purchase Coral but this was blocked by the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission in the moment. Coral was sold to Morgan Grenfell, a private equity firm in 1999 and merged with Eurobet, one of the online gaming websites, in exactly the same year. Gala bingo, operating over 150 halls with an additional presence and founded in 1991 and Coral, merged together in 2005 to form the Gala Coral Group.
Ladbrokes was started by two guys who acted as a commission agents for horses (trained at Ladbroke Hill). After a move to London in the early 20th century the company became a bookmaker for customers. Falling on times following WWII the business was sold for only #100,000. Of betting shops that drove Coral’s rise in 13,, the legalisation however reversed the fortunes of Ladbrokes also, who were floated in 1966. With forays to the hotel (Hilton Group) and residence convenience sector the Ladbrokes group grew to second largest UK bookmaker. Before their Coral merger Ladbrokes also acquired BETDAQ.
The team now generate almost half of their profits and between them have more clients than any other company. For more about each brand visit our full reviews.
Bet365 meteoric rise has all come form the electronic industry, and considering that just now is the internet gambling market larger than the high street (excluding national lottery) that is a pretty impressive performance. They really are not lying when they say in their advents that Bet365 is the worlds favorite betting company.
Established in 2000 from a temporary building in Stoke by today multi-billionaire Denise Coates, the highest paid woman in Britain, Bet365 is the largest company in Stoke and now generates massive revenues that are online. They even have the football stadium.
Denise began the company by borrowing against her fathers brick and mortar bookmaking business. Where they’ve gained a customer base of over 45 million people from 200 countries selling off the stores to Coral in 2005 Bet365 became an only operator. The brand has the best reputation within the gambling and gaming sector from both punters and insiders and boasts one of the most loyal customer bases of any enterprise.
Often cited as a success story of business that is British, if you should rule the sector that is offline out these guys would be the biggest. Multi-award winnings and constantly developing ideas and new technologies that the only way this company is currently going in the future is up.
William Hill were the largest betting company in the UK with over 2300 stores and just under #2 billion in annual revenues. The operator, which currently generates around #200 million in annual profits and is listed on the FTSE 250, comes from humble beginnings.
In 1934 the company was founded by Mr William Hill, who following illegal enterprises and some failures found he could make money using. Hill’s entered into the betting shop industry, opening their first five years following the change in legislation in 1966 they were a cancer to society. He relented when he saw his opponents were getting ahead.
The company changed ownership many times. Bought for #700 million in 1997, the brand was sold two decades later for #825 million and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2002.
Their competitive strategy has allowed them to dominate the market landscape although the William Hill group have had some failures through the years. Possibly the bookmaker in the world, largely down to the fact Hill’s have spread outside the UK more than any bookie, and also due to their vast amount they spend on sponsorship and advertising.