Home Flutter boosts US presence while shifting away from UK’s strict gambling laws

Flutter boosts US presence while shifting away from UK’s strict gambling laws

Flutter Entertainment appears to be taking the United States by storm as its U.K. operations wind down. Among the changes includes the appointment of former Walt Disney Company CFO Christine McCarthy and ex-Liberty Media CEO Robert Bennett to its board.

“Christine and Dob’s extensive experience in the entertainment industry will be an invaluable asset to Flutter as we continue to extend our leading position as a global online sports betting and iGaming provider,” said Flutter board chair John Bryant in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming both Dob and Christine to the Board as non-executive directors and benefitting from their unique perspective and industry knowledge.”

The chief finance officer of the international sports betting and gambling company stepped down in June as the gambling group shifted its primary listing to the U.S.

Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson resigned due to concerns about the extensive time away from his family after Flutter’s relocation to the U.S. The gambling conglomerate, owner of Paddy Power and Betfair, stated it was in Edgecliffe-Johnson’s “best interests” to step down from his roles as chief finance officer and executive director. He had been instrumental in moving Flutter towards its U.S. listing.

A Flutter spokesman said: “Following the need for extensive executive management time to be spent in the United States, the board has recently engaged in a discussion with Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson concerning his ability to meet that requirement in light of his family commitments in the UK.”

Flutter’s success in the U.S. amid controversy

The Dublin-based company made its Wall Street debut in January, with CEO Peter Jackson noting that New York was its “natural home,” aiming to tap into deeper investor funds.

The firm has seen significant growth in the U.S. through its FanDuel business as more states legalize sports betting. FanDuel commands a market share of over 50 per cent in the U.S., with the group procuring around 40 per cent of its revenue from the country.

In the U.K., where online gambling is more established, Flutter and other betting companies have recently acknowledged that some of their past operations may have been harmful, and have discontinued such practices. They have also recognized a responsibility to shield customers from problem gambling amid increasing incidents of addiction, suicide, and gambling-related crimes.

However, in the rapidly growing U.S. market, Dublin’s Flutter and Britain’s Entain — co-owners of the U.S. sports betting firm BetMGM — have apparently not implemented many of the protective measures they adopted in Britain. Unlike the U.K., betting online in the U.S is largely regulated state-by-state.

Despite acknowledging risks to gamblers, Flutter reportedly continues some of the controversial practices in the U.S., according to a Reuters investigation that included corporate filings, company statements, testimonies to lawmakers, job ads, and interviews with gamblers and former employees.

“It is true to say right now the U.S. is in its infancy, and there is less of the kind of protections that you see in the UK,” Entain’s Chief Financial Officer Rob Wood told Reuters. He defended BetMGM’s practices, saying “we don’t apply low standards anywhere.”

Flutter in hot water in the U.K.

In the U.K., the gambling giants voluntarily reduced VIP programs that encourage higher spending after spotting the potential risks to gamblers. Flutter has also set up safeguards for bettors under 25, noting that they may be more vulnerable to possible harm. Advocates for gambling addicts pointed out that these firms have agreed to monitor bet affordability and intervene if signs of problem gambling emerge.

In 2018, British regulators sanctioned the U.K. branch of the online gambling firm after it overlooked that the director of an animal shelter was siphoning funds from his workplace to finance his betting habits, costing the charity over half a million dollars across four years. The gambling oversight body forced Flutter to pay approximately $2.8 million for failing to protect customers from clearly unchecked gambling behavior and for not preventing the use of embezzled funds.

In April, shareholders approved moving Flutter’s primary stock market listing during the annual group meeting.

While maintaining a secondary listing in London, the company will no longer be part of the FTSE 100 index.

Featured image: Canva

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.