If I could choose one word to describe the online betting industry in the last ten or fifteen years, it would be growth. The market has seen some of the highest and fastest growth of any industry in the world. This growth has naturally involved many new and old participants, but what is clear to see is that there are a few behemoths in the industry leading the charge.
Today, we’re going to look at a few of the categories that can determine which is the world’s biggest betting site. It’s not as clear cut as you might imagine – there isn’t necessarily a single, concrete factor you can look to which determines which is the biggest site. We’re going to try to break down which factors might be most important.
So read on to find out more.
The first and most obvious factor to look to is how much money a given company is making. Obviously, the more profitable a betting site or its parent company is, the larger their overall share of the market is going to be.
In terms of revenue, the biggest betting sites according to FindBettingSites are provided by the Flutter Stars Group. This includes sites like Paddy Power and Betfair. They accumulated £3.8 billion in revenue in recent years, putting themselves and the runner up Entain PLC far ahead of any of the competition.
What is clear when you look at the companies and sites with the most revenue is that most of the time this has been achieved via huge-scale mergers. Flutter Stars and Entain are both large conglomerates of previously successful and independent companies and sites. All parties benefit from these mergers, and that includes the customers, too.
With more revenue going to single entities, they have far more freedom to spend that revenue improving their products and services. In that way, the profits are passed on to you.
But this isn’t the only way of judging the world’s biggest betting site.
2. Global reach
While some companies might have the bigger revenues, those profits aren’t always going to come from broader markets. Some of the biggest companies will tend to focus their efforts on the larger markets, like Australia or Ireland.
Bet365, for example, is a betting company with an enormous reach, even though they do not bring in the same kinds of revenue as large companies. Because Bet365 operate solely online, they have had a much easier time reaching more customers. They provide services to dozens of countries, their main market being Europe. But they also provide to bettors in the Americas, almost every country in Asia and many African countries.
Bet365 have perhaps the broadest reach of any online betting company, and are, in their own way, one of the biggest betting sites in the world. Given the way things are moving more and more towards an almost entirely online world, we could very well see companies like Bet365 overtaking in revenue those companies which still rely, in part, on physical shops.
But reaching more countries doesn’t always mean you reach more players.
3. Number of players
Another potential way to look at the biggest betting site is by seeing which individual site has the most players and traffic. This tends to fluctuate a lot month to month, as online bettors are nothing if not savvy about which sites to use. Always changing up what site they are using depending on which one provides the best benefit.
In recent months and years, a new up and comer 1xBet has taken the world stage by storm and is enjoying some of the highest traffic of any betting site in the world. Bet365, again, tends to enjoy consistently higher traffic, although they are being seriously challenged.
In any case, the top spot is always up for grabs if a site has global reach and is licensed internationally. What the internet has proved is that loyalties and popularity can change like a switch, and sites have to continue innovating if they want to remain on top.
But this is often what we see – sites and companies that, throughout the years, continue to innovate and provide a quality service across decades.
4. Longest continuous service
Many of the older, more well-established betting sites pride themselves on how long it has been since they were first established, and how popular they have been ever since. For this record, we can look to one company that still performs strongly today: Ladbrokes.
Established by name in 1902, Ladbrokes can trace its lineage even further to two men who decided to form a partnership for betting on horses in 1886. They have been continuously providing betting services ever since, even weathering the less-than-convenient gambling laws which would not be reformed until the Betting and Gambling Act of 1961.
Today, Ladbrokes is owned by Entain, and continues its legacy as one of the world’s biggest betting sites.
But they are not the only site with some history. Coral, again one of the largest of the sites owned by Entain, was established by a Polish immigrant in 1936 after a decade of underground bookmaking. This nearly spelt disaster for the owner, Joe Coral, needing senior officials to intervene and approve his application for naturalisation in the U.K.
It is a pretty good rule of thumb that the oldest and most well-established companies in any industry will wind up being the biggest and most successful. Few, however, have needed to embrace change as much as the betting industry, though, and for the companies we’ve talked about here, they not only survived but thrived by embracing the change of the online world.
There are more than a couple of ways you can determine which is the biggest betting site in the world. Some will have more players than others, but may overall generate lower revenue. Some may provide games and services to a lot more countries, but fewer overall individual players. What exactly makes the ‘world’s biggest betting site’ is up for some debate, but what’s clear is that there are a few big players leading the charge in most of these categories.
Also read: Tim Harrison: 8 Predictions for UK Sports Betting