The Football Pools
operational expertise + financial acumen =
June 2017
Fund Investment Date:
Gross Turnover at Acquisition (incl. franchising):
£28.6 million
OpCapita Executives:
David Hamid & Chris McDermott
Key Facts
The Football Pools is a UK-based operator of offline and online gaming, themed around predicting football match outcomes. The Company has a long heritage dating back to 1923 when the first coupons were distributed to fans outside Manchester United's Old Trafford ground. The current business was formed by the combination of Littlewoods Football Pools, Zetters Pools and Vernons Pools, re-branded under "The Football Pools" banner in 2008. The Company is headquartered in Liverpool, with c. 160 employees.

The UK gambling sector as a whole has a strong track record of growth, reaching £14.1 billion gross gambling yield in 2020 on 6% compound annual growth since 2014. Football is the most popular sports bet, making up 31% of UK sports betting and contributing 10% to the overall UK gambling market.

During the Covid pandemic in 2020, the sector experienced the unprecedented global cancellation of sport, causing significant disruption to the industry as a whole, with customers reducing their total play and switching emphasis into casino and other non-sport activity. Since that time, sports leagues around the world have reopened with new protocols to protect players and fans.

Through its 100-year heritage, the Company has a loyal customer base engaged with its core product offering. OpCapita is working with the Company's management to target value-creation opportunities through a developed digital presence and user base, a targeted communication and marketing effort, development of a full product portfolio and expanding distribution channels and routes to market.

Since our investment, we have:
  • Established in-house digital development capabilities
  • Evolved the product offering for a digital customer base
  • Created a digital insights team enabling data-led decision making
  • Enhanced the promotional and customer retention strategies of the main game
c. £28m
yearly gross win revenue
c. 130k
Classic Pools players every week
est. 1923
oldest football gaming business in the world