Flutter, William Hill Earn Bullish Price Revisions, Analyst Cites US Opportunity for UK Gaming Firms

Posted on: June 15, 2020, 10:40h. 

Last updated on: June 15, 2020, 11:33h.

Flutter Entertainment, the parent company of FanDuel, is among the British bookmakers on the receiving end of bullish commentary from Jefferies analyst James Wheatcroft today.

Flutter, William Hill Touted By Analysts
An analyst is bullish on UK sportsbook operators, including William Hill, saying markets aren’t properly valuing US exposure. (Image: Metro)

In a note to clients, Wheatcroft reiterated “buy” ratings on Flutter, GVC Holdings Plc, Playtech, and William Hill, while boosting his price forecasts on all four sportsbook operators. The English Premier League (EPL) is set to restart Wednesday, which should be a catalyst for the bookmakers in their home market. But Wheatcroft is enthusiastic about the companies’ opportunities in the rapidly expanding US sports wagering market.

More US states also set to legalize sports betting more quickly than expected and the market currently bakes in zero value for the US opportunity compared to the $12.3 billion market cap of DraftKings,” said Wheatcroft.

Shares of DrafKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) more than doubled in less than two months as a public company, as analysts and investors are excited about the company’s prospects against the backdrop of increased legalization of sports betting in the US.

Potentially Deep Value Ideas

Wheatcroft’s assertion that financial markets are currently ascribing no value for the UK bookmakers’ US exposure is a bold claim. But even if that thesis only partially validated, that would imply Flutter, GVC, Playtech and William Hill offer investors value.

Flutter is the largest online gaming company in the world, and with FanDuel, it has the only notable competitor to DraftKings in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) arena, as well as online and mobile sportsbook platforms that are among the fastest-growing in the US.

In addition to FanDuel, Flutter recently completed its $12.2 billion takeover of The Stars Group (TSG), a deal that bolsters the UK-based firm’s US sports betting footprint via TSG’s previously established agreement with FOX Bet. Late last month, Flutter announced a secondary equity offering of $1 billion, a sale the FOX broadcast network is participating in.

Other catalysts cited by Jefferies’ Wheatcroft include the return of fuller sports schedules in Europe and the US, strong liquidity positions for the British sportsbook operators, and waning regulatory risk in their home market.

More on US Exposure

GVC’s US footprint comes by way of ROAR Digital, an online joint venture with MGM Resorts International. ROAR has “exclusive access to all MGM U.S. land-based and online sports betting,” according to the company, and operates “real money and free-to-play online casino gaming under the BetMGM and Borgata” brands.”

William Hill is one of the largest sportsbook operators in Nevada and at land-based casinos throughout the US in states where sports wagering is permitted. The company recently inked a deal with CBS Sports to provide betting data on related platforms. It will increase its brick-and-mortar and online betting footprints when Eldorado Resorts finishes its $17.3 billion takeover of Caesars Entertainment later this year. The British company has a previously established arrangement with Eldorado under which it operates all ERI sportsbooks.

Shares of GVC and William Hill are down an average of 22 percent this year, while Flutter is higher by 19 percent.