Flutter expect World Cup stakes to reach over £300m
As the 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off this weekend with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador, Flutter can confirm the event is set to be the most popular betting event of the calendar year for the Group, with its UK and Ireland (UK&I) brands – Sky Betting & Gaming, Paddy Power and Betfair UK – predicting over £300m in overall stakes from excited fans of England and Wales.
The tournament may see betting levels surpass that placed throughout the 2018 World Cup, widely considered the biggest staking sports event of all time, with FIFA-led analysis estimating that €136bn was staked globally. This will ultimately depend on the performance of certain teams, with Flutter’s FanDuel and Sportsbet brands set for greater customer engagement given that USA and Australia have both qualified for the tournament.
At 125/1, the USA winning the World Cup represents Flutter’s biggest overall liability in the outright book three times the amount of Argentina in second. This demonstrates the importance of the Group’s leading Risk and Trading operation in determining whether the event is a win or loss for Flutter, particularly as its customer base has become increasingly global and potential exposures have emerged in different markets.
To manage this effectively requires a 100-strong team of experts covering football across a wide variety of specialist roles, such as in-play and pre-match traders, odds compilers, performance analysts, and product managers. Combined, this group operates a ‘follow-the-sun’ model across trading centres in Dublin, Melbourne, and New Jersey, with the pricing model developed by Flutter UK&I distributed across the world and underpinning prices for 250 markets for each World Cup game.
The unique timing, location and climate for this World Cup are among several key factors that the Risk and Trading team have considered when pricing each game as well as the favourite for the tournament, with the form and fitness of players already well into domestic football seasons also tracked. To do so, the team uses a sophisticated simulator that plays out the tournament thousands of times, predicting a unique winner based on several variables. At 7/2, the team have priced the 5-time champions of the world, Brazil, as current favourites to lift the Cup, with England captain, Harry Kane, 15/2 favourite to win the Golden Boot for top goal scorer.
Outlining the vital role that Risk and Trading plays within Flutter during the World Cup, Group Chief Trading Officer Dom Crosthwaite explains: “The World Cup is undoubtedly the biggest betting event of the year and everyone at Flutter shares the excitement of our customers as the tournament gets underway. Our UK and Ireland brands are set to manage over £300m in stakes, but we expect global customer interest considering the involvement of countries such as the USA, Australia, Spain and Brazil – all important markets to Flutter. With 9.5m average monthly players now engaging with our brands around the world, many of whom are likely to bet on their own country, our global Risk and Trading operation must provide a compelling World Cup proposition, distribute accurate prices and manage risk effectively across the Group. We look forward to seeing who wins the biggest prize in global sport.”