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UK Sports and gambling stocks

Gambling is a real culture in the UK and it can be done responsibly. Weekends are taken up with putting accumulators on the football or playing bingo with friends or even making a big event for the Grand National. It is common place to talk about going to the bookies or placing a bet online, even now people will be looking at the Winter Olympics wondering what the best betting offers online are.

Josh Clayton could not have put it better, “Gambling went from being something that was super taboo to being easier than ordering food on Uber Eats. You watch a sports game and every commercial is an ad for sports betting.”

Even during the pandemic there was no slowing down in the UK and with people locked up inside their homes they found ways of gambling. Whether that be online slots, roulette tables or even betting on the Belarussian football league! It was reported that over 50% growth in revenue happened to the UK online gambling industry in 2020.

So with gambling at an all-time high in the UK, many people have looked to investing in these businesses. As the old saying goes you never see a poor bookmakers but where is the best place to be investing your money?

Established Names

Walking down a high street, turning the radio or watching an advert and you will probably see the same old gambling company names. The likes of Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral have all established themselves within the industry competing against one another for the best odds for customers to spend their money on.

With these brands comes a view that they are profitable and well established on their own without any issues. However, if you look at William Hill for example they are a company that have just been bought out by an American company called U.S.-based Caesars Entertainment.

This 2021 takeover showed that the UK betting industry is not a place for sentiment and even the biggest companies can be easily purchased. William Hill has been trading for over 85 years and is arguably the most recognisable betting shop in the UK yet they were not able to turn down the offer from across the pond.

Investment

So what do you need to look out for? Well investing in stock is quite easy but it is all about making the right choice. If you want to invest your winnings back into the stock system with companies then these three might the best ones for you.

Gamesys Group (Symbol: GYS)

Gamesys looks to help support and provide development of gaming in the UK. They acquired Virgin Games in January 2013 and then sold its Jackpotjoy brand to The Intertain Group, for a minimum of £425.8 million in February 2015.

In 2021, Bally's Corporation, made an offer to acquire the company for $2.7 billion and it was completed in October. The company has posted profits each year and in 2020 the revenue they were gaining was in excess of £720 million.

Although the price might not be the best it was a few years ago, with the profits soaring it will be worth looking at the best time to buy this steady company especially with rumours they are going to explore the African market; where online gambling in Nigeria is rocketing.

Entain Holdings (Symbol: ENT)

Entain Holdings (formerly GVC Holdings) made big news recently when the U.S. based BetMGM sports betting corporation made a play to acquire Entain for over £11 billion. The deal failed to go through but it once again showed that companies from America are looking to the UK market trying to acquire the most profitable businesses. However, Entain announced it had acquired the Canadian sports betting operator Sports Interaction from Avid Gaming for £175 million this month proving it is not just a one way street.

Entain owns and operates the following gambling brands: Bwin, Ladbrokes, Coral, PartyCasino, and PartyPoker and many more big names in the gambling world.

As of 2020, the revenue of the company was listed at €3.562 billion.

Flutter Entertainment (Symbol: FLTR)

Flutter joined the industry in 2016 and has grown exponentially. They achieved this by acquisitions and mergers with other companies to get to the top of the game.

With control in companies such as Paddy Power, Betfair and Pokerstars they have really started to dominate proceedings with all three big hitters in the gambling world. The company came about through a merger of Paddy Power and Betfair.

In 2020, the revenue of the company was £4.398 billion.

About The Authors

Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson - I live in Vancouver, Canada, and work as a web developer and graphic designer. Back end programming (PHP, Django/Python, Ruby on Rails) to front end engineering (HTML, CSS, and jQuery/Javascript), digital usability, user interface, and graphic design are all areas of web development where I spend my days. I'm a huge fan of web creation and design in all of its forms, as well as assisting small businesses and artisans with their online presence.

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