A little over a decade ago, many of the world’s top 10 online gambling companies hailed from the UK. These companies had offices in Gibraltar or the Isle of Man—two islands with lax tax laws.
Over time, the trend has changed. More countries have legalized online gambling. And as a result, some of the brands we’ve highlighted below come from Ireland, Malta, and the US. That said, our list is based on revenue records tallied in 2020.
Table of contents
- #1: Flutter Star Group ($5.43B)
- #2: Entain PLC (Formerly GVC Holdings) –$4.21B
- #3: Bet365 ($4.13B)
- #4: Scientific Games Corporation ($3.63B)
- #5: International Games Technology ($3.115B)
- #6: Kindred Group (Formerly Unibet Group PLC) –$1.564B
- #7: Playtech PLC ($1.27B)
- #8: 888 Holdings ($849.7M)
- #9: Betfred ($726M)
- #10: DraftKings ($614M)
#1: Flutter Star Group ($5.43B)
The Flutter Star Group is the world’s biggest online gambling company as of 2021. This comes two years after the Ireland-based startup took over Canada’s The Star Group in 2019.
Last year, the company generated $5.43B, a 27% increase from the previous year. In all fairness, the Flutter Group owns some of the best performing online gambling companies:
- Paddy Power
- Sky Betting & Gaming
Historically, the Flutter Group has been relying mainly on its Britain and Ireland-based gambling companies. Last year, the company generated a huge chunk of its income from its North American branch—FanDuel.
#2: Entain PLC (Formerly GVC Holdings) –$4.21B
Isle of Man-based Entain PLC has grown by double digits in 20 consecutive quarters. This tremendous growth culminated in revenues worth $4.21 billion in 2020, placing it second amongst the top 10 online gambling companies.
Like many Britain-based gambling companies, Entain PLC has been exploring the US market since 2018, when sports betting became legal. The move has so far been successful: Entain PLC—through BetMGM—is now the third-largest sports betting brand in the US.
To be clear, BetMGM is a partnership between Entain PLC and Vegas-based casino MGM Resorts. In the UK, Entain owns Ladbrokes, Coral, and Sporting Bet. It recently made an offer to acquire DraftKings at a valuation of over $10B but the US-based brand rejected the offer.
#3: Bet365 ($4.13B)
For a company that paid its CEO $582M last year, no one should be surprised by Bet365’s incredible earnings. The England-based betting website generated $4.13B last year, more than double its income since its current CEO, Denise Coats, took over in 2016.
Interestingly, the company’s profits jumped significantly in 2020 after a brief downtrend caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns in March. According to the Guardian, coronavirus led to an 8% drop in the company’s profits for the financial year ending March 2020.
However, Bet365’s income has since risen despite the pandemic’s explosion for the better part of 2020. The explanation is that online sports betting activities increased even amidst the pandemic.
#4: Scientific Games Corporation ($3.63B)
Although foreign gambling companies are quickly getting into the North American market, homegrown startups have been profiting the most. Scientific Games Corporation is a great example.
Last year, the company rebounded from a loss to generate $3.63B in revenues, placing it third amongst leading gambling brands. The company’s income increased by $880M or 63.3%. And this figure doesn’t include the $551M more made from services, $174M more from instant products, and $155M more from product sales.
#5: International Games Technology ($3.115B)
Like Scientific Games, International Games Technology (IGT) is based in the US. Also, the company specializes in both online and land-based casino operations. Despite that, IGT generated $3.115B from a myriad of products—service, product sales, lotto games, and international partnerships.
For clarity, both IGT and Scientific Games specialize in software products. They create the slots and table games you find at leading casinos. Considering they earn a share from game leases and profits from every game, they’re projected to continue growing as online gambling increases.
#6: Kindred Group (Formerly Unibet Group PLC) –$1.564B
The Kindred Group ranks sixth this year after a generally positive financial year that resulted in revenue earnings worth $1.564B in 2020. Like many online sportsbooks, Kindred suffered a massive loss in the first quarter of 2020.
But after major sports leagues around the world resumed operation, the company’s flagship betting site—Unibet—bounced back with strong third and fourth-quarter earnings. The bookie’s best-performing markets last year were the UK, Europe, and Australia.
Unibet, which has been listed here as one of the top gambling sites in Canada, hopes to expand in the US later this year. Through a statement by CEO Henrik Tjarnstrom, Unibet is targeting to acquire licenses in both Illinois and Iowa later this year.
#7: Playtech PLC ($1.27B)
Once the world’s largest online gambling company, Playtech’s market share has declined sharply in the past few years. Last year, the British company suffered a 28% drop in annual revenues to record $1.28B at the end of the year.
The company’s reduced income is a result of low B2B sales brought about by COVID-19. For clarity, Playtech is a software provider—akin to Scientific Games and IGT. It leases slots and card games to casinos worldwide. The company’s online sales increased by 58% but land-based sales dropped by 40%.
#8: 888 Holdings ($849.7M)
888 Holdings, one of the oldest iGaming brands in the world ranks eighth this year. The Gibraltar-based betting company generated $849M in 2020, a 52% growth compared to 2021. Intriguingly, the company’s stock price has more than doubled in the past year, growing from $190 to $420.
#9: Betfred ($726M)
Like many betting companies in the UK, Betfred had mixed quarter income reports last year. The first half of the year was characterized by reduced betting and sales. But sales increased in the second half.
Although the overall income for Betfred was lower than a year prior, the company benefited from a nice tax cut worth $130M from the UK government, which helped balance its profit records.
#10: DraftKings ($614M)
DraftKings surpassed Wall Street’s expectations by generating $322M in the last quarter of 2020 alone. Wall Street had predicted the company would generate $232M in the same period.
Instead, the company’s stellar growth in the last four months of 2020 drove its annual revenues to $614M. This year, the betting website hopes to generate as much as $1B. Meanwhile, the company’s stock price climbed by 400%, from $10 to $50 by the end of the year.