Flutter Entertainment, a betting behemoth, is on a roll

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Flutter Entertainment, a betting behemoth, is on a roll

IF YOU ARE going to run a gambling operation, it helps to have luck on your side. Months after Peter Jackson was appointed boss of Flutter Entertainment in 2018, America’s Supreme Court overturned a federal law outlawing most sports betting. For a firm running established bookmakers such as Betfair and Paddy Power, that opened the door to a wagering El Dorado. Two years later Flutter’s $12bn splurge on PokerStars, an online-tournament franchise, looked dear—until a pandemic left millions at home in possession of stimulus cheques and lots of spare time. If the house always wins, Mr Jackson comes a close second.
Betting used to be the preserve of mob bosses and back-alley card sharps. Now it is an increasingly regulated $500bn business where ever more bets are placed on mobile phones. Executives at firms like Flutter use workaday metrics—conversion rates, cost of customer acquisition, employee engagement—familiar to managers at Amazon or McDonald’s. True, a certain brand of investor still treats gambling as irredeemably “sinful”, to be lumped in the same bucket as purveyors of booze, cigarettes and missiles. That hasn’t stopped Flutter, the largest global gaming company, from securing a berth in the blue-chip FTSE 100 index in London, backed by a market capitalisation of £25bn ($35bn). That lofty figure depends on Mr Jackson’s winning…
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