Moody’s is a credit rating business and part of Moody’s Corporation. According to its credit analysts, Covid-19 will lead to the merger of more gambling companies than ever. A good example of this is the fact that Paddy Powner owner Flutter Entertainment is now working together with the Stars Group.
Support from shareholders
Flutter’s shareholders had previously supported the proposed merger of the Irish group with Stars from Toronto. Stars owns Skybet, Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker. The ultimate goal of the merger is to create a gambling giant with more than ten million customers worldwide.
Strongly declining sales
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the total revenue of gambling bets has fallen sharply. Sports organizations have cancelled events, such as horse racing and football, that normally involve many gamblers. Despite the situation, Flutter and Stars intend to continue with their deal.
More poker and casino games
GVC owns Ladbrokes, which owns an Irish chain of bookmakers and offers online betting. At the moment, the operator sees more and more customers switch to poker and casino games. Due to the Coronavirus, many sports betting events have been cancelled. So gamblers have to find other activities, like playing online casino games.
Assessment by Moody’s
Moody’s assesses companies’ ability to repay their debts. It classifies the Stars Group as ‘B2 stable’, which means it has a ‘high credit risk’. The Canadian group’s net debt is approximately 4 billion euros. Moody’s Flutter isn’t rated by the way. The Irish company has a net debt of 270 million euros, but no significant liabilities. The Clonskeagh group, headquartered in Dublin, also owns Betfair, Sportsbet in Australia and Fanduel in the United States.
Gaming industry changes forever
Florent Egonneau and Jeanine Arnold, who both work as analysts at Moody’s, argue that changes in the industry are likely to increase when the Coronavirus declines in strength. Think about collaborations between companies, for example. Another development is that gambling companies are more likely to operate on a larger scale. They’re willing to strengthen their businesses on the internet, the analysts say.
Can European companies survive the Corona pandemic?
Companies that are more stable will take advantage of the current Corona crisis by means of acquisitions. In this way the companies will increase their market share, the analysts tell. According to Moody’s, European companies such as the German Tackle Group and Cirsa, Codere and Sociedad Limitada can survive a two-month lockdown in Spain. However, they will get into trouble if the situation lasts too long.