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Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Pump Tires of British Bookmakers Flutter Entertainment and William Hill

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A view of the new L.E.D. screen during the re-opening of the William Hill Race & Sports Book at the Plaza Hotel & Casino on November 08, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for William Hill U.S./AFP

A pair of British bookmakers, Flutter Entertainment and William Hill have earned the praise of research firms Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan the last few days. The firms have been complimentary of the gambling providers’ ability to parlay a dominant market share in the UK with increased exposure in the growing US legal sports betting scene.

It’s not only Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan that have recently talked up Flutter Entertainment and William Hill – Jefferies analyst James Wheatcroft is also high on the companies as we enter a re-opening phase for the legal betting industry. Even Fitch Ratings has upgraded Flutter’s outlook despite the pandemic slowdowns.

All that have discussed the two British companies the last few days are bullish on their abilities to rapidly expand and out-perform their current ratings and price forecasts going forward.

Flutter Entertainment

Flutter Entertainment’s rise to prominence isn’t much of a shock. The company has been on a roll as of late, and have quickly become one of the world’s largest online gaming company. Investors have noticed and the stock, despite some awful economic times is up 19%.

A recent $12.2 billion acquisition of The Stars Group, which gave Flutter a “complementary set of products” May 5 allowed the company to stake its claim in not only the US markets but also ones in Australia as well as the UK. The Stars Group added its brands to Flutter’s 600 retail betting shops across the U.K. and Ireland making a global powerhouse in the betting industry.

The US market has been a game-changer for Flutter. Owning one of the top producing DFS and legal gambling sites in America has Flutter’s status looking very good going forward. James Wheatcroft gives a “buy” ratings on Flutter with an eye on most sports coming back online soon and with more states legalizing their own sports betting platforms.

William Hill

As one of Britain’s top sportsbooks, William Hill entered the US market with some backing and they haven’t disappointed in their ability to make their mark in America. As of now, they have a presence in Nevada, New Jersey, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.

William Hill remains one of the biggest operators in Nevada and has branched out recently, signing on with CBS Sports to provide betting data on related platforms. It gives William Hill a media wing that should be beneficial in the growing US market. As of now, William Hill is out front in terms of innovation and diversity in the legal sports betting space.

Like Flutter, James Wheatcroft gives a “buy” ratings on William Hill despite its shares being down 22% this year. “Our UK online business is in a better place than ever, and our international business is displaying solid growth,” said William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson in a statement released earlier this week.

The company recently generated $280 million by selling 20% of its stock but that move could pave the way for more expansion going forward. “In the US, we have used this period of lockdown wisely to move our product forward, and we are now in a strong position to capitalize on the US growth opportunity that lies ahead,” Bengtsson said.

Translation…

Flutter Entertainment and William Hill have positioned themselves well to seize on what some analysts feel could be a $20 billion per year business in the US. With decades of experience in Europe under their belts, Flutter Entertainment and William Hill are in the midst of separating themselves from a crowded pack in the US legal betting industry.

With a legion of bettors using their services, with expansion certainly on the horizon for both companies, and with the backing of some of the top industry insiders and investors, it is difficult to see the momentum slowing anytime soon. 2019 was great for Flutter Entertainment and William Hill – 2020 could be even better.