The United Kingdom is often seen as the home of sports betting. While the United States and Macau are popular gambling destinations, no country sees more betting on sports than the UK.
UK punters love to wager on sports, and the country has some of the biggest bookmakers in the world today.
A quick look at the gaming industry sees several UK companies stand out in our Top 5. However, many of the companies that appear to be independent brands are part of larger betting firms.
Some of the biggest UK bookmakers have a history on the high street and the Internet. You may also see these companies sponsor the front of football shirts (Betway), stadiums (Bet365), and football leagues (Sky Bet).
Mergers between companies have increased the size of some of the UK’s brands. The biggest brands are turning over billions of pounds per year. Just a few big names could run the sportsbook industry in the future. Some industry experts already claim it is.
Here is a look at the biggest betting companies in the UK and how much revenue they turn over.
You may not be familiar with Flutter Entertainment, but you have likely seen its stable of brands. Flutter is the parent company of some of the industry’s top betting companies, including Paddy Power, Betfair, PokerStars, and Sky Bet.
Flutter was formed after a merger in 2020. The company is based in Dublin with offices in Toronto. It has more than 14,800 employees. The company doesn’t just control major sports betting and poker brands, but a variety of smaller poker groups as well.
In 2020, after the companies merged under the Flutter Entertainment umbrella, it took control of 38% of the online market share overnight. Flutter has a total revenue of £6.04 billion, making it the top betting firm.
Flutter’s brands are online but can also be found on the high street. There are more than 600 shops in the UK and Ireland under the corporations’ umbrella.
The second biggest betting company in the UK is Entain PLC. Once again, you probably haven’t heard of Entain, but you will be familiar with its brands. In 2013, Entain acquired Sportingbet and, three years later, added Bwin. The company hit the jackpot in 2018 by purchasing Ladbrokes Coral PLC.
Ladbrokes and Coral are two of the UK’s biggest betting brands, which helps make Entain reach No 2 on the list of the biggest betting companies in the UK. Entain’s other major UK brands are Betdaq, BetMGM, and Party Poker. All of these brands are popular amongst bettors.
In 2021, the company had a revenue of £3.83bn. The company employed around 25,000 people that same year. Not only is Entain a big company in the UK, but it reaches around the world. It is licensed in 27 countries, and you will find its offices on five different continents. Entain is also traded on the London Stock Market.
Bet365 is a popular sportsbook in the UK and one you will likely know. The company’s name is everywhere when it comes to football, with commercials popping up during Premier League and Champions League matches.
Denise Coates founded Bet365 in 2000. Her father, Peter Coates, owned land-based betting shops, but Denise’s plan from the start was to focus on Internet sports betting. She sold the brick-and-mortar shops, and it helped Bet365 become the behemoth it is.
Unlike Flutter Entertainment and Entain, Bet365 grew into one of the UK’s biggest betting companies as a single brand. It accomplished the feat in under 20 years thanks to strong leadership and timely planning.
One of the remarkable aspects of Bet365 is its location. It hasn’t moved off mainland England to a tax-friendly location, and so remains a major contributor to the UK’s economy. Bet365 has a diverse portfolio but has worked diligently to build a singular brand.
Bet365 had a revenue of £3.98bn in 2019. The company employs over 5,000 people and has offices in Malta, Bulgaria, Australia, and Gibraltar. The United States’ decision to relax laws on sports betting influenced the company to launch a website there.
William Hill is one of the oldest sportsbooks in the UK. The company can trace its roots back to 1934, long before the Internet sports betting age.
There was a time when you could find a William Hill bet shop on nearly every high street across the UK. William Hill has aggressively spread worldwide, making it a familiar name for many sports bettors and non-gamblers.
William Hill has changed hands multiple times over the years. In 2020, Caesars, a US-based company, bought William Hill for £2.9bn. The company changed hands again, with 888 Holdings buying it for £2.2bn shortly after that.
The company currently has over 10,000 employees. You will still find William Hill bet shops on the high street. In 2020, it reported a revenue of £1.3bn. Today, William Hill has other brands under its umbrella, including Redbet and MamaMia Bingo.
Betfred is a unique story and very different from some of the corporations seeking to dominate the sports betting industry. Fred Done started Betfred in 1967 with one single bet shop in Salford (a part of Manchester).
The company was originally called Done Bookmakers, and its popularity in Salford spread like wildfire as shops began popping up all over. In 2017, Betfred had more than 1,600 bet shops in the UK and an online presence.
Betfred is similar to Bet365, as it is a privately held company. While other major brands are publicly traded, Betfred is still owned by the Done family, who still live in Salford today.
In 2019, Betfred had a revenue of £728m and had 1,620 brick-and-mortar shops. It employed just 2,080 people in 2021, as many bookies continue to close old-fashioned bet shops.
Biggest UK Betting Companies Summary
|Betting Company||Revenue||Gambling Brands|
|Flutter Entertainment||£6.04bn||Paddy Power, Betfair, PokerStars, Sky Bet|
|Entain Plc||£3.83bn||Ladbrokes, Coral, Betdaq, BetMGM, Party Poker|
|William Hill||£1.3bn||William Hill, Redbet, MamaMia Bingo|
Note: the figures mentioned in this article were gathered from sources on the internet at the time of writing. If you notice any inaccuracies, please notify us in the first instance to correct them.