No industry ever stands still, but iGaming is undoubtedly one of the rapidly growing sectors. Driven by cutting-edge technologies, it’s moving forward at lightning speed, changing the concept of entertainment each and every day.
While online casinos are the ones that cater directly to the needs of punters, they are just the tip of the iceberg, given that the existence and smooth running of gambling websites depend on a plethora of diverse businesses. All of them, from software developers to payment processors do their part in providing a truly seamless player experience, tailored to the specific requirements of different jurisdictions and markets.
Young compared to other industries...
... as well as to the land-based domain, in its relatively short history, online gaming has managed to produce an army of thousands of differently-sized enterprises. Just as it’s a common practice nowadays, true global giants have been mainly created by widely publicized mergers and acquisitions, with the Flutter-Stars epic deal being the latest and the most impressive of all.
Who Are The World’s Biggest Online Gambling Companies?
We’ve done a great deal of work to provide you a snapshot of the top performers in revenues, profits, stock returns, in other words, everything the success of one company is measured by. The roster of high achievers is compiled on the basis of their market cap at the moment of writing this article, so things may be changing due to further developments but we’ll do our best to keep you updated as always.
Previously known as Paddy Power Betfair, Flutter was born in February 2016 as a result of the merger between the most renowned Irish bookmaker and the leading UK gambling platform. Three years later, the company agreed to acquire all of the shares in The Stars Group to establish with the PokerStars operator the world’s largest online gaming business both in terms of market value and annual revenues.
And that’s exactly…
… what officially happened in May 2020, enabling the enlarged Group to expand into new markets, at the same time retaining strong positions in the UK and Australia. Needless to say, it took months of red tape in the form of necessary approvals from antitrust authorities and gaming control agencies in different jurisdictions, as well as from London Stock Exchange and Euronext Dublin, where Flutter is listed.
With the TSG deal, the Group significantly strengthened its presence in the USA, adding an array of new products to FunDuel and TVG. Besides Australian Sportsbet and BetEasy, the company also operates Georgian-based Adjarabet.
You might be surprised to see this software provider focused exclusively on Live Dealer entertainment just behind such giant as Flutter, still, believe it or not, Evolution has been unstoppable over the last several years. Listed at Nasdaq Nordic, this Swedish company is a true heavyweight boasting a market cap of over SEK 80 billion or $8B (as of May 2020).
This indicator, by the way…
… was four times less just two years ago but the acquisition of Ezugi at the beginning of 2019, as well as constant quest for excellence at every level, boosted this amazing rocket ride to the top. A long-term supplier of fully-integrated B2B Live Casino solutions to such online titans as William Hill, Bet-at-home, Ladbrokes, and 888, Evo holds licenses in numerous worldwide jurisdictions and serves over 300 operators. The Group has studios across Europe and North America with the three main hubs located in Latvia, Malta, and Georgia.
Headquartered in the Isle of Man, GVC Holdings has offices across five continents and similar to Flutter operates in both the online and retail sectors. Its web-based presence, however, is massive enough (especially after the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral completed in March 2018) to place this company among the world’s largest online sports betting and gaming groups.
Accepting wagers in 21 languages...
... and 19 currencies, GVC runs a number of well-established sportsbooks including the aforementioned Ladbrokes, incredibly popular not only in the UK but also in Australia and other countries.
When it comes to online casinos, the Group offers them not only through its own gambling platforms such as bwin, Sportingbet, Betboo, Crystalbet or Eurobet but also by providing B2B services to other gaming operators including Playtech-powered Casino Las Vegas, SCasino and Casino King, the state-owned Danske Spil, the UK-focused Gala Bingo and partypoker, to name just a few.
William Hill was a legend long before the advent of the internet. Founded in the UK in 1934 as a postal/telephone betting service, in the mid-1970s the company numbered over 14,700 shops across the country, being at that time part of the Sears Holdings Group.
Always at the forefront of the industry...
... in 1998 William Hill went online with the sportsbook and two years later launched the online casino allowing bettors to switch between sports and slots or popular table games. Today, online gaming brings the company more revenues than its web-based sportsbook and while the UK remains the brand’s main market, the acquisition of Mr Green in 2019 jump-started international expansion of WH and resulted in 35% revenues generated outside the United Kingdom.
Started in 1997 as a website called Unibet, the business has been growing over the years to become in 2016 Kindred Group with 13 brands in its portfolio. With highly ambitious plans from the very outset, the company has reached the status of one of the world’s largest online gambling companies through several acquisitions of the established operators (32Red, Betchoice, Maria Bingo) and by launching new gaming sites focused on specific markets.
Keeping pace with modern technologies…
… and the latest trends, in 2005 Unibet went live on a mobile platform, followed by the launch of WAP and iPhone apps in 2009. The same year, innovative Live Casino was added to the broad range of products offered by this comprehensive website licensed in many jurisdictions including New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Besides online casinos intended to cater to punters in Nordic countries, Malta-based Kindred Group also operates once-of-its-kind Vlad Casino created in-house for Romanian players.
It’s hard to find a player that hasn’t heard of Playtech, which got its first casino license in 2001 and since then has given the world a plethora of top-notch slots (including exclusive Warner Bros. adventures), table games, and Live Dealer titles. The brand also operates the iPoker network, perhaps the largest across the industry.
… one of the most famous software developers across the globe has a history of relations with William Hill dated back to 2008 when the two signed an online gambling software deal and also agreed to set a joint venture William Hill Online, with Playtech getting 29% stake in the business. As for the huge collection of omnichannel content delivered by sophisticated Playtech One solution, among the numerous studios who contribute to its creation are Quickspin, Eyecon, Ash Gaming, Rarestone Gaming, Sunfox, and Geco Gaming.
A true software provider celebrity, this Swedish enterprise debuted with the online casino in 2000, and in the following years, NetEnt delivered its Casino Modules to a rapidly growing number of international customers. Globally renowned for the unique collection of slots including branded blockbusters, in 2013 the Group launched its first Live Dealer products quickly catching up with the already strong competition in this sector.
The purchase of Red Tiger in 2019 encouraged NetEnt’s further expansion to new regulated markets, adding more customers to the Group’s massive base of the world’s largest gaming operators. With licenses in the majority of regulated European jurisdictions, as well as in Mexico and the USA (New Jersey and Pennsylvania), the company continues to be focused on the old continent at the same time plotting further growth in North America.