The owners of Paddy Power Betfair and Poker Stars have agreed to merge in an all-share deal that will create the world’s largest online betting and gambling company by revenue to take advantage of the opening up of US markets.
Flutter Entertainment , formerly known as Paddy Power Betfair, is to combine with Nasdaq- and Toronto-listed Stars Group Inc (TSG), owner of Poker Stars.
Following the merger, shareholders of Flutter would own approximately 54.64 per cent of the new company, with TSG shareholders owning about 45.36 per cent.
The merger is the latest in a series of deals as the industry responds to the growing number of gamblers using online and mobile devices and the opportunity created by the relaxation of rules on sports betting in the United States.
The merged group will have its headquarters in Dublin and its main listing in London
The merged group will be boosted by a partnership in the United States with FOX Sports, which will have the right to acquire an 18.5 per cent stake in Flutter’s FanDuel US business from 2021.
Dublin-based Flutter merged its US business with fantasy sports company FanDuel last year in a deal it said would create the industry’s largest online business in the United States.
TSG had bolstered its British operations last year when it bought Sky Betting & Gaming in a US$4.7 billion deal.
Flutter has sharpened its focus on North America as the potentially huge U.S. market opens up and it faces higher taxes and increased regulations in its main British, Irish and Australian markets.
Betting exchange Betfair and Paddy Power, which runs high street betting shops as well as an online business, merged in 2016, although the integration took longer than anticipated and a toll on product investment for a time.