11th August 2021
Good morning Today US budget airline Jet Blue will launch its first transatlantic route with a New York to London flight. This route is the most lucrative in the world with 28 flights a day already available on other airlines. Some have questioned the timing of this launch - although the UK has recently opened the doors to double jabbed Americans to enter without quarantine, unfortunately the US has yet to return the favour, even though 75% of UK adults are fully vaccinated.
- Return of sports boosts bookmakers
- US Senate passes landmark $1 trillion infrastructure bill
Yesterday's market moves
FTSE 100 +0.4% 7,161
FTSE 250 +0.5% 23,572
After days of treading water, UK markets finally moved higher supported by strong company earning results. US inflation data is due today that could offer further clues about how quickly the Federal Reserve will reduce crisis-era support for the economy.
Return of sports boosts bookmakers
What’s going on?
Flutter Entertainment, the owner of betting brands like Betfair and Paddy Power, reported a doubling of revenue to £3bn in the first six months of the year, well ahead of forecasts.
The return of a more normal sports calendar including Euro 2020 and the acquisition of rival The Stars Group, which owns Sky Betting and PokerStars, drove the strong performance.
Why is this important?
Dublin-based Flutter, estimates that of the global betting and gaming market is worth £345bn with just 13% occurring online. It predicts that the online sector will grow at c.10% a year over the next five years.
The pandemic has helped speed along this transition with Flutter and its rivals experiencing strong growth in online gambling as customers migrated from physical stores that were closed during lockdown.
The number of people using Flutter's online gambling in the UK rose nearly 60%.
But as UK betting shops have reopened in June punters have returned, Flutter said retail revenue was 7% higher than pre-Covid levels.
The company has a strong presence in the UK but in recent years has been making moves across the pond.
It owns the FanDuel fantasy gaming app in the US and is rolling it out to six new states that are relaxing sports betting rules. It’s invested $1bn in marketing so far and expects it to be profitable for the first time in 2023.
The FTSE 100 company said that so long as the sporting calendar remains uninterrupted then the rest of the year should be even better than expected.
However as economies reopen and with online gambling being a core driver of growth it remains to be seen if customers will turn to other activities and if Flutter can maintain its momentum.
Shares closed up 8% on the day.
US Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill
Last night President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill secured enough backing to pass through the US Senate.
It’s been labelled as ‘historic’ and ‘landmark’ – not because of the size – but because it’s a rare example of Republicans and Democrats coming together to approve a package, in what has been a challenging political environment in the US.
The bill would see investment in many areas of public life such as roads, bridges, broadband internet access, clean energy and drinking water.
The $1 trillion would be partly funded by unused pandemic relief, taxes on cryptocurrency, spending cuts and other revenue streams.
It’s estimated that the bill will add $256bn to the US budget deficit over the next 10 years, adding to the nation's $28.6 trillion debt load.
But it’s not a done deal yet. After being passed in the upper chamber of Congress the bill will go back to the lower chamber aka House of Representatives next month when it returns from summer recess.
Only if voted through there will it make its way to Joe Biden’s desk for the final signature.
Stat of the day
TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- UK fintech investment hits new record after £18bn buying spree
- Odeon owner AMC to accept payment in Bitcoin
- Second-hand car sales soar amid shortage of new models
- Holiday Inn owner IHG swings to profit and set to launch new luxury hotel brand
- US job openings hit record high of 10.1 millions as employers scramble to find workers
- How hybrid work leads to favouritism