It’s FanDuel’s world and we’re all just living in it.
The parent company of the US sports betting market leader, Flutter, posted Q3 results today, reaffirming its current dominance.
FanDuel had a 46% online sportsbook market share during the quarter and total online gambling share of 29%.
That includes 1.8 million active customers, with 450,000 added during Q3 alone. Those numbers include online casino and betting on horse racing.
Aggressive low margins for FanDuel
Total amount wagered on sports (aka handle) grew 155% in Q3 to $1.66 billion. Handle also grew 100% in existing states alone. However, sportsbook revenues only grew by 3% to $35 million thanks to a net revenue margin of 2.1%. That was down from 5.2% in Q3 2019.
FanDuel suggested the low margin was a deliberate strategy as it invested in bonusing and new customer offers.
“More than half of the margin reduction reflected strategic investment ahead of the return of sports,” the group said. “We doubled down on popular promotions such as FanDuel’s pioneering ‘Spread the Love’ campaigns and ‘Odds Boost’ offers.”
Flutter CEO Peter Jackson added that FanDuel had always kept margins “pretty tight” for competitive reasons. “We don’t want to allow a lot of oxygen into the market,” Jackson said.
FanDuel still in growth mode
In fact, the results highlighted an interesting contrast between the growth market of the US and a mature market in the UK.
Flutter-owned brand Sky Bet posted a net revenue margin of 11.6% for the quarter thanks in part to a “structural improvement in our expected margin.” In other words, customers are betting lots of parlays and personalized request-a-bets, which have inherently higher margins. There is also less bonusing for new customer acquisition.
Sky Bet is much more of a mass-market brand than FanDuel, but that kind of margin could be the goal for Fox Bet.
On that note, Jackson seemed a little downbeat on Fox Bet, at least compared to FanDuel.
“When we look at life through the lens of Fox Bet, as a subscale competitor, it’s very tough,” Jackson said.
“It makes us realize how big an advantage the FanDuel brand has. Particularly around acquiring customers at sensible costs. And that reminss us to keep pushing hard and investing.”
On track for $1.1 billion in GGR
“We are very pleased to have retained our position as the No. 1 online operator in the US, where FanDuel has made significant progress against each of its key priorities,” said Flutter CEO Peter Jackson.
“We have enhanced the customer experience, secured further strategic media partnerships and acquired more new customers than anticipated. And we are on track to generate more than $1.1 billion of GGR (gross gaming revenue) in the US this year. This will mark a major ‘first’ for an online operator.”
Jackson also highlighted legislative momentum for sports betting after it was approved by voters in Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota last Tuesday.
Finally, Flutter raised its expected 2020 EBITDA loss in the US to $212-239 million. The group said it was increasing investment to reflect better-than-expected new customer volumes.
As for ownership, Jackson was asked whether there were any immediate plans to simplify the current complex structure. There’s no real pressure to do so in the short term, Jackson said.