With an industry valuation of over $445 billion (approximately £356.7 billion), gambling is one of the most popular and engaging forms of entertainment worldwide. In fact, estimates calculate that almost 4.2 billion people engage in gambling each year.
Among all this gambling, many companies in the industry are making incredible money via the various services they offer. Studios like Play’n Go provide games to companies such as 888 Holdings, who, in turn, offer these to bettors. Other large companies manage multiple physical casinos and resorts worldwide.
These companies have a great responsibility to ensure that punters can gamble in a safe, enjoyable environment (whether online or in person) and need to ensure that their casinos operate like clockwork. For doing this, they are generously rewarded with profits from the billions in revenue generated each year.
Some of these companies, however, have grown past just providing gambling services. Instead, they have become hallmarks of the industry and behemoths of wagers, valued at often shocking sums of money. These are the world’s wealthiest gambling brands by market cap—some of which you may have heard of and some you may have not.
Las Vegas Sands ($37.98 billion / £30.4 billion)
It is no surprise that the wealthiest gambling brand is one that hails from Las Vegas, widely agreed to be the most well-known hub for gambling worldwide. The company was founded in 1988 by Sheldon Adelson, an American businessman.
The company’s first acquisition was the legendary Sands Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip. Purchased in 1989, the Sands was the pinnacle of the company until it decided to diversify into exposition spaces, conferencing, and other real estate investments.
After many expansions, failures, and scandals spanning three decades, Las Vegas Sands now holds the largest market cap of any gambling brand worldwide. Estimated at around £30.4 billion, the company has expanded into Asia and won multiple awards, including the Forbes World’s Best Employer.
Flutter Entertainment ($31.60 billion / £25.3 billion)
Founded in 2016, Flutter Entertainment was born from the merger of two prominent UK gambling brands, Paddy Power and Betfair. After the two groups merged, the company was listed as Paddy Power Betfair Plc.
Just one year later, the group began acquiring additional holdings in the gambling industry. This started with fantasy sports operator Draft and continued with FanDuel, PokerStars, Sportsbet, Sky Betting and Gaming, Tombola, Sisal Gaming, and the Stars Group.
Rebranding to Flutter Entertainment in 2019, the group’s multiple acquisitions have led it to have operations in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and Italy. The culmination of all these gambling brands has given the group a market cap of almost £25.3 billion, making it one of the richest in the world.
Evolution ($22.94 billion / £18.3 billion)
Headquartered in Sweden, Evolution was founded under the name Evolution Gaming in 2006. However, in 2020, the brand dropped “Gaming” from its name to better reflect the multiple operations of the group.
Like Flutter Entertainment, Evolution has made its way up the list of the wealthy through multiple acquisitions, scooping up some of the most prominent names in the gambling industry. Among these are Red Tiger, NetEnt, Ezugi, Big Time Gaming, Nolimit City, and Digiwheel.
While these acquisitions have certainly helped the group reach a market cap of around £18.3 billion, it was already famous for its work with live casino technology. Evolution was one of the first developers to offer live casino software and is still one of the most widely used platforms by online casinos.
Aristocrat Leisure ($17.39 billion / £13.9 billion)
One of the oldest companies in the industry that still holds substantial value, Aristocrat Leisure was founded in Australia in 1953. During the same year, it manufactured its first slot machine—something it would become renowned for worldwide over the course of its history.
As the world’s second-largest slot machine producer, Aristocrat Leisure has been through some tough financial times (including retrenchments in 2008). However, the company has grown tremendously through diversification and movement into other markets through acquisitions of Plarium, Video Gaming Technologies, and Big Fish Games.
Aside from having a market cap of around £13.9 billion, the company has also won multiple awards. In 2021, the group won the Slot of the Year and Land-Based Industry Supplier awards at the Global Gaming Awards held in Las Vegas.
MGM Resorts International ($15.23 billion / £12.2 billion)
Launched in 1986, MGM Resorts International began under the name Grand Name Co. This soon changed to MGM Grand and then to MGM Mirage after the acquisition of Mirage Resorts in 2000. Since then, the company has grown extensively and now operates some of the most notable casinos worldwide, including the Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay.
In 2005, the company became the largest casino gaming corporation in the world after a merger with Mandalay Resort Group. This was short-lived, and the group then decided to take operations internationally, working in Macau and Dubai.
Aside from international expansion, the group also chose to diversify in 2018 with the launch of BetMGM—a bookmaker that often makes many promotions available for players. The massive success of this venture has helped lead the group to its current market cap of approximately £12.2 billion.
DraftKings ($14.37 billion / £11.5 billion)
Founded in 2012, DraftKings has quickly become one of the most recognized gambling brands in the world. Using various technological innovations within the betting industry, it allows punters to place daily fantasy and sports bets in numerous US states, the UK, and Germany.
The company was officially listed in 2020 after a merger with SBTech from Bulgaria and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. Since then, it has also taken ownership of Golden Nugget Online Gambling, a popular online casino and bookmaker.
While the acquisitions have helped contribute to a market cap of around £11.5 billion, one of the biggest reasons for the brand’s success is its multiple deals with massive sporting bodies. These include the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).