Gambling has been around since the dawn of time, whether you were betting on who would be the next king, or on who might win the Superbowl, no matter what you bet on there is always someone who will be making money off of those bets, and it is with this backdrop that we look at some of the biggest bookmakers in the world.
Like when you poker, the house always wins.
With the rise of online gambling and its accessibility on mobile apps, betting has only become more popular and as a result bookmakers, or ‘bookies’ as they are known colloquially, will start making more money too.
But who are the best bookmakers in the world, and why are they at the top?
Through our own research we have discovered who are the top biggest bookmakers in the whole world, as well as some extra information, so keep reading our article below to learn who is the best in the game, below!
Biggest Bookmakers in the World
Bwin was once a small bookmaker who originated in Vienna, Austria. By the end of the 90s, it was really popular with the number of active users being over twenty million.
They offer some of the best odds and offers out there which is what attracts their fans back to their platform.
Part of their success comes from their wide offerings of sports betting but also poker and casino games – Yet, they make most of their revenue from sports betting.
In 2011 they merged with a British gambling firm known as PartyGaming, the result known as ‘bwin.party’ became the world’s largest publicly traded online gambling firm.
This merger was a big part of the company being considered one of the largest bookmakers out there.
As of 2021, they are also the sponsor of the UEFA Europa Football League in Europe, ensuring their longevity for the future.
Ladbrokes are not only one of the biggest bookmakers out there, being the largest in the UK, but they are arguably one of the most historic bookmakers out there. In fact, ‘Ladbrokes Coral’ was founded in 1886, with a subsidiary gambling company known as ‘Coral’ being established in 1926.
In November 2016 the companies merged again leading to their purchase by GVC Holdings which was rumored to be worth up to £4 billion ($4.8 billion).
Moreover, in 2018 Ladbrokes Coral and the Scottish Professional Premier League extended an agreement of sponsorship until 2020, another deal rumored to be worth up to £5 million ($6 billion).
So we can see how Ladbrokes Coral are one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, having made such historic deals.
3. William Hill
William Hill is another famed British bookmaker, being another older company that has used its longevity to sprout mergers and deals that support its income.
Founded in 1934, it offers sports betting, online casinos, online poker, and online bingo.
While it originally served only the British, the company has become so large it has both an International and UK division as a result.
The company was actually listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by Caesar’s Entertainment in April 2021 for around £2.9 billion ($3.5 billion). Caesar’s only bought William Hill’s International division, though and the latter’s UK division was also put up for sale.
Ceasar’s agreed to sell William Hill’s UK division to 888 Holdings for £1.95 billion ($2.3 billion).
Betfair is not only one of the biggest gambling companies in the world as well as the UK but also has one of the biggest betting exchanges in the world.
It offers sports betting, online casino, poker, and bingo to its customers. Like many of these larger UK companies, they have both a UK and International division.
For such a young company, being founded in 2000, they have come pretty far since.
Betfair was the first betting company to sponsor an English football team, being Fulham’s kit sponsor for the 2002-03 season.
In September 2015 popular Irish bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfair merged together into an enlarged entity named Paddy Power Betfair for an undisclosed fee but made Betfair a seriously high-ranking bookmaker as a result of its domination of the UK, Ireland, and overseas.
Betway is one of the larger bookmakers in the UK with over 15 million users in the region. These are impressive numbers considering the company was only founded in 2006.
They are mainly a betting and sportsbook company but also have an online casino.
Betway is a subsidiary of its holding company known as Super Group which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange as of 2022.
The company is mainly so popular due to its gambling products and casinos, rather than its sports betting but is a very high-ranking bookmaker as a result.
Even in 2021, they were named as the official sports betting partner of the NHL league in the US, cementing their intentional reach and revenue.
Bet365 is arguably one of the largest bookmakers out there. It was founded in 200 by Denise Coates and her brother John and has since become a huge fish in the pond of bookmakers.
Bet365 actually doesn’t have any in-person betting shops but is now completely digital having sold its betting shop chains to Coral in 2005 for £40 million ($48 million).
In 2020-2021, their reported revenues show £2.8 billion and a profit of £470 million before tax. All of the money goes to the Coates family, with Denise receiving 50% of the shares.
7. Paddy Power
Paddy Power has been a rising star in the bookmakers’ game since its creation in 1988 when three Irish betting companies were merged together.
Since this merger, they have had a very aggressive expansion strategy that combines marketing and offering large amounts of odds to bet on, controversially non-sporting bets on reality TV shows, US presidential races, and others.
As of November 2011, Paddy Power was the largest bookmaker in Europe, by total share value, with an income of €444 million ($475 million).
This was largely exacerbated by a merger with another huge UK betting company Betfair. In both 2021 and 2022, Paddy power was nominated as ‘Betting Shop Operator of the Year’.
Paddy Power is widely known for its marketing tactics as well, often with successful marketing campaigns of comedy on social media, as well as promoting their non-conventional odds on non-sporting events.
Biggest Bookmakers Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are many betting companies, many that sprouted from Europe and the UK, that are now huge bookmakers.
These large and successful bookmakers mainly succeed in their offerings of lots of different sports and other betting incomes from casinos, bingo, and non-sports betting.
It’s often a game of little fish being eaten by larger fish as the companies that are instead to be the larger bookmakers often consume smaller companies with large purchase offerings that are hard to turn down.
Part of the success of these companies is the width and breadth of gambling options they offer to their customers, whether that’s a collection of sports or games/ways of betting.
Yet, part of these companies’ success is dominating the market they exist in, as well as their marketing success.
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