Gambling Insider Magazine recently completed its annual gambling industry review for 2019. Afterward, a heated debate ensued between two of its most prominent writers, Tim Poole and Owain Flanders, about what 2019’s most consequential event for the gaming industry was. It was Poole’s view that this was when Flutter Entertainment merged with Stars Group, while Flanders felt it was Sweden’s re-regulation. Both writers made somewhat reasonable arguments in support of their case.
Tim Poole’s Position
Tim Poole asserts that the massive Flutter Entertainment merger with Stars Group was the industry’s defining occurrence in 2019 because of its sheer size and potential future impact. Noting its unprecedented size, Poole admitted that he couldn’t “remember a deal bringing so many prominent brands under one umbrella.” He was so amazed by the new company’s stranglehold on both the US and UK gaming markets that he actually wondered if the Competition and Markets Authority would later find an excuse to shoot it down. While the record-breaking merger created a gaming behemoth, with about £11 billion in market capital and a projected 2018 revenue of about £4 billion, it was far from the only large new gaming company created in 2019.
Owain Flanders’ Opinion
Owain Flanders fixates on the Swedish re-regulation of the gambling industry starting on January 1st, 2019. He chooses this as his defining moment for 2019 because of: its ongoing and continual presence in gaming news headlines this year; and how it has negatively affected so many companies’ revenue. The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA), Flanders claims, has helped to keep the issue in the news by frightening several companies with hefty fines and warnings and even revoking gaming company SafeEnt’s license. Flanders goes on to note all the companies severely and directly impacted by Sweden’s re-regulation of the industry. He described how Global Gaming’s revenue declined a crushing 76% since last year and Gaming Innovation Group’s (GIG) had fallen a whopping 19% since the same time last year.
Tim Poole seems to have made a simpler, yet more persuasive argument than Owain Flanders. As Poole has asserted, the new company created by Star Group’s absorption into Flutter Entertainment is the Gambling Industry’s most massive company, by far. It is a company that will likely dominate two of the world’s most important gaming markets, the USs and the UKs, for years to come. This will generate substantial waves in the world of gaming and will probably drive several smaller companies out of business. Also, if and when economic issues affect this massive new company, it’s so big that it will affect the whole industry. As far as Owain Flanders’ opinion. Well, Sweden is but one gaming market and it’s not all that big, relative to the USs or maybe the UKs. Also, the companies he mentions are likely much smaller than the new monster Poole draws attention to. It’s quite possible that this new company will even put the ones Flanders mentions out of business.