Many industries continue facing struggles during the current bleak financial climate. Soaring interest rates coupled with the seemingly endless cost of living crisis are biting into revenues and profits, but one Leeds-based company is making hay despite the sun not shining.
Flutter Entertainment Plc is one of the largest, most prominent gaming companies globally. Among its many established brands, Flutter runs some of the busiest sports betting websites on the planet, including Leeds’ very own Sky Betting & Gaming. Betfair, Paddy Power, and PokerStars are three of Flutter’s best-known brands, and the company’s lavish offices at 4 Wellington Place, Leeds, houses more than 1,000 staff from the company’s United Kingdom and International division.
Flutter Publishes Staggering Financial Figures
Shares in Flutter hit an all-time high of 16,305.00 on May 15 as investors swoop in to get their slice of the gaming pie. In early March, Flutter published its annual report to the London Stock Exchange (LSE:FLTR), and the figures quoted were nothing short of astounding.
Group revenues increased 27% to £7.693 billion, a staggering sum of money helped by the company enjoying an average of 10.2 million players using its products each month. As if those numbers were not mind-boggling enough, Flutter has started the 2023 financial year like a runaway train, with average monthly players, sports and gaming revenue soaring by double digits.
During the first quarter of the 2023 fiscal year, the average number of monthly players stands at 12.35 million, up 30% on the same period in 2022. Total revenue for the group soared 54%, compared to Q1 2022, to £2.4 billion. Flutter is on course for a record-breaking year if its performance continues at the same rapid pace.
More Britons Than Ever Have Turned to Gambling
While Flutter’s investors are delighted with the company’s performance, anti-gambling campaigners are less than thrilled. The Centre for Economics and Business Research recently compiled its annual LifeSearch Health, Wealth, and Happiness Index. The score fell 11% during the past 12 months and is sitting at low levels not seen since before the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A year ago, the study showed approximately a third of people had gambled at least once during the past 12 months, with an average spend of £43. This year, almost 1.5 million people, nearly 3% of the adult population, admitted turning to gamble as a quick fix for their dire financial situation. More people are gambling and spending far more money than previously, with the average monthly spend now tipping the scales at £268.
Emma Walker of LifeSearch called the trend worrying.
“This is a very worrying trend because, while gambling may be seen as a magic solution, it is much more likely to make a financial situation worse, and with easy access to bets and other gambling via mobile phone apps, it can easily spiral out of control.”
What Are Companies Like Flutter Doing to Protect Customers?
Gaming companies like Flutter have a moral obligation to protect customers from gambling harm. Flutter has several measures in place to help protect customers and prevent problem gamblers.
The company launched its positive impact plan known in Flutter circles as Play Well. Flutter is committed to having 75% of its active online customers using one or more of its Play Well tools by 2030 and at least 50% using one or more tools by the conclusion of 2026. Flutter takes its Play Well initiative seriously, even tying a significant percentage of its employees’ annual bonuses to ensure the Play Well targets are met and surpassed.
Flutter committed to a 2% reduction in the proportion of revenues from customers who have ever self-excluded in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2022. It achieved a 22.89% reduction. Internationally, Flutter wanted a 36.5% increase in customers applying deposit limits, stake limits, or applying a cooling-off period. Some 45.1% of international customers did this.
When a gambling company like 320b.cc announces any profit, that profit comes from the everyday person losing money. And during times when many face financial hardship and cannot afford to lose funds, those companies will be seen as profiteering from their customers’ desperation and sorrow.