Much of the growth came in sports, which brought in £896m, up 43.1% year-on-year, though the end of the comparative quarter saw almost all sport across the globe suspended. This revenue came on stakes worth £8.70bn, up 71.6%.
Gaming revenue, meanwhile, grew 18.0% to £589m.
Almost all of Flutter’s revenue – at £1.47bn, up 41.3%, – was made online, with the operator’s Paddy Power retail shops in the UK closed for the entirety of the quarter.
“2021 is off to a strong start for the group,” Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson said. “We continued to significantly grow our global player base which in turn drove a 42% increase in our online revenue [on a constant currency basis].”
Breaking down revenue by division, the UK and Ireland segment – which includes the Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Bet brands – saw revenue grow by 15.9% to £568m, with all of this made online, representing a 35.4% online growth.
In a quarter that included the Cheltenham Festival, Flutter estimated that its brands made up the majority of bettors on the event.
UK sports revenue was up 33.1% to £371m and gaming up 40.8% to £196m. Online sportsbook revenue increased 36.8%, as stakes rose by 63.0%, but growth in exchange and B2B sports revenue was lower at 5.1%.
Sky Betting and Gaming’s revenue was up 35.3%, while for Paddy Power Betfair’s online operations, revenue was up 35.6%.
Looking only at the first two months of the year, before major Covid-19 effects, revenue was up 38.0%.
The US division was Flutter’s fastest-growing segment, with revenue up 134.7% to £288m, thanks to the continued success of FanDuel – which brought in around £264m of the US division’s total. Sports revenue was up 129.9% to £189m – on stakes worth £2.71bn – and gaming 145.8% to £99m.
“We believe that the quality and breadth of our offering remains a key differentiator for FanDuel sports and the key driver of our leadership position,” Jackson said.
In the US, Flutter acquired more than 900,000 new customers in the quarter, bringing average monthly players to 1.6m.
Jackson added that the business is still considering spinning off and listing part of its FanDuel business, but has not made a decision yet.
Australia also saw rapid growth in revenue, by 58.8% to £279m. Players staked £2.54bn on sports, which brought in the entire revenue total as online casino is not permitted in the jurisdiction.
With Australian retail locations open through the quarter, Jackson said the operator made an effort to hold onto customers it acquired during lockdown.
“In Australia we have been highly focused on retaining retail customers that migrated to our platform during 2020 and while it is still early days, we have been pleased with the retention rates to date,” he said.
The International channel, on the other hand, which includes most of the PokerStars brand as well as Betfair’s international operations, saw slower growth, at 6.9% to £351m.
International sports betting revenue was up 22.1% to £57.0m, while international gaming grew by 4.0% to £294.0m, with the slower growth related both to high levels of poker play in March 2020 leading to high revenue in the comparative quarter, and Flutter’s decision to withdraw the PokerStars brand in China, Taiwan and Macau last year.