However, Flutter CEO Peter Jackson is confident that Flutter can become the product leader in US online casino, just as it has done in online sports betting.
“We think we’ll get to product leadership in iGaming and that will enable us to continue to take significant share, both in the casino direct market as well as the cross-selling market,” said Jackson on Flutter’s H1 2023 earnings call.
“We are the world’s biggest regulated online casino operator, so we know how to do this stuff. We just haven’t always brought those capabilities into the US market, but we’ve done that now, and that’s why I think that share is stepping up,” he added.
Indeed, Flutter’s iGaming share climbed by four percentage points year-on-year as the group’s flagship FanDuel Casino brand reported a 38% uptick in new casino-first players.
The operator also sought to improve its product during the reporting period with the launch of a FanDuel Casino-branded live casino offering in partnership with Evolution.
Jackson said the market share growth had mainly occurred thanks to direct casino players, rather than by players being cross-sold into the vertical from the FanDuel sportsbook.
He suggested this was due to the aforementioned product improvements, as well as the launch of daily free-to-play games as outlined in the slide below.
The graph above depicts Flutter’s annual growth in US iGaming market share, which appears to have flatlined in recent months.On the H1 earnings call, Bank of America equity analyst Kiranjot Grewal asked whether Flutter was content with its current position or whether it could do more to gain share.
“On iGaming, we’re ambitious,” replied Jackson. “We knew last year when we talked about iGaming that our product wasn’t good enough.
“We saw this as a multi-year operation and we started to address some of the things that were frankly not in place last year, like having a dedicated team, brand and content capabilities.
“We’ve been really pleased with the way the businesses has grown and taken share, but we’ve got a bunch of improvements this year and exciting plans into next year as well,” he added.
For the reporting period, Flutter’s US division included TVG, Fox Bet and PokerStars, alongside FanDuel.
Fox Bet and PokerStars combined to deliver US losses of $91m for Flutter in 2022. Fox Bet has now been shut down, and CFO Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson told analysts that PokerStars should expect to retain around half of those losses going forwards.
He did say however that PokerStars would be a strong brand asset for the group when the total addressable market (TAM) for iGaming expands in the US.
Jackson also touched on this, suggesting it might be used as a secondary iGaming brand for the group in future: “In terms of how we utilise the PokerStars brand, we now have clarity around the future of that and the ownership structure of it.
“We’ve had it in the market a while and clearly it has been primarily focused on poker. We’re pleased with the performance we have, and we’re not averse to running multiple brands.
“We’ll figure out how we utilise that in the most effective way moving forwards,” he added.