Posted on: March 2, 2022, 08:43h. 

Last updated on: March 2, 2022, 12:35h.

Sportsbet continues to find new ground in Australia. In an update from Flutter Entertainment, its parent company, the sports betting operator reportedly holds 50% of the Australian sports betting market.

An ad for Sportsbet that once helped it attract users. It served its purpose, but also caused issues for the operator. (Image: Ads of the World)

Flutter Entertainment said this week that Sportsbet, its Australian sports betting arm, is on the move. Its revenue last year was $1.72 billion, a 20% increase over the previous year. In addition, it took in more bets, staking $15.59 billion in wagers throughout the year.

The increase came as more players transitioned to the online betting space between 2020 and 2021. This helped Flutter increase its overall revenue, through Sportsbet’s contributions, by $718 million. Compared to the year before, the operator boosted Flutter by 26%.

Sportsbet Taking Over Australia

In 2020, when Flutter merged with The Stars Group, Sportsbet benefited as well. It combined forces with BetEasy, which undoubtedly served as a primary catalyst last year for the increased revenue.

[The] medium-term outlook for Sportsbet remains compelling, with growth likely to be driven by the growing financial maturity of our existing player base as well as the continued conversion of non-betting sports fans and retail gamers,” said a Flutter announcement.

Sportsbet and BetEasy controlled around 26% of the market heading into 2021, well behind Tabcorp. However, as the online betting space continued to evolve, the newly-combined assets of the two allowed the stake to increase to 50%.

This improvement was also reflected in the number of players Sportsbook is retaining. In 2019, it had around 400,000 average monthly players. It broke the one million mark last year.

Sportsbet Also Sees Slips with the Gains

As impressive as the performance is, Sportsbet had to deal with a few issues last year as well. Its rapid growth came, in part, from advertising that crossed a line established by regulators.

This led the New South Wales gaming regulator, Liquor & Gaming NSW, to penalize Sportsbet last November for AU$135,000 (US$99,495). That wasn’t as bad as the fine of AU$2.5 million (US$1.8 million) that the Australian Communications and Media Authority fined the company last month over unwanted spam.

Flutter brushed off the fine in its update this week, asserting, “Sportsbet continues to provide a template for what can be achieved in international markets as we look to leverage the Group’s scale.”

Flutter Pushes Safer Gambling Initiative

Although it didn’t mention a link to Sportsbet’s safe gambling failings in Australia, Flutter has launched a new initiative this week that focuses on safer gaming and social equity. Dubbed its Positive Impact Plan, the company will introduce the program across all of its operations.

The plan includes three main areas of improvement, all of which will support its “overall corporate strategy.” Flutter wants at least 50% of all of its users to take advantage of its safe gambling tools by 2026. By 2030, it wants the number to be up to at least 75%.

In addition, by 2030, it will have a more robust Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) program. This will include teams that are “representative of the locations” where Flutter is active. This will follow an analysis of demographics and other criteria that will take place this year. In conjunction, by 2026, at least 40% of the executive workforce will be female leaders.

The third component includes a plan to “improve the lives of 10 million people using the power of sport and play.” Flutter doesn’t specify how it will accomplish this but indicates that it will give its employees two paid days a year to participate in community volunteer work.