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Volume 25 No. 6

Finance

FanDuel offers millions of DFS players primed for conversion to sports betting
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Ireland-based bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair has "confirmed it is in talks to buy or merge" with FanDuel as U.K. betting firms "prepare to cash in on the end" of the Supreme Court's ruling on sports gambling, according to Jack Torrance of the London TELEGRAPH. PPB said that discussions with FanDuel were "ongoing and that there was no certainty any deal would go ahead." PPB bought FanDuel rival Draft for $48M last year and also has an "online casino and horse betting exchange in New Jersey" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 5/16). Sources said that PPB has been "talking to American gambling groups for weeks over potential deals and partnerships" in anticipation of the SCOTUS decision (FT.com, 5/16). LEGAL SPORTS REPORT's Dustin Gouker noted details of the acquisition and the price PPB is offering "are also unknown," but it appears likely to be below the $1B valuation that FanDuel once had. FanDuel would "offer a database of millions of DFS players -- some active, some not -- that would seemingly be primed for conversion to a sports betting platform." PPB already has users from both horse racing network TVG and daily fantasy firm Draft, but FanDuel "offers a different demographic than the former and a larger base than the latter." FanDuel is a brand with "more recognition in the U.S. than PPB, a largely European-facing company, currently enjoys with any of its current brands" (LEGALSPORTSREPORT.com, 5/15). FanDuel said that it has a "base of more than 6 million registered users" (FOXBUSINESS.com, 5/15).

AHEAD OF THE GAME: FanDuel CEO Matt King said of the SCOTUS ruling, "We're working with the regulators on what that regulation is going to look like and that will drive a lot of what the product is. But sufficed to say we actually have our product designed, we have the tech team working on it and we're going to be ready to go." King said FanDuel sees a "massive opportunity in terms of expanding the number of people" using FanDuel products and placing wagers and the "fact that it's going to be online in a lot of states actually makes it a lot easier for people to do" ("Squawk Alley," CNBC, 5/15). In Boston, Jordan Graham notes since June, when SCOTUS said that it would hear New Jersey’s challenge to the federal law banning sports betting, Draft¬≠Kings has been "taking quiet but significant steps to be able to enter the sports betting market as soon as possible." The company has "opened an office in New Jersey and has had conversations about potential partnerships with New Jersey casinos." DraftKings has also "hired a veteran of the U.K. sports betting industry to be the company’s head of sportsbook" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/16).

Basketball analytics outfit ShotTracker has closed a $10.4M Series A financing round led by Ward Ventures and includes longtime advisor and NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern, Greycroft Partners, former MLBer Ryan Howard, KC Rise Fund, Irish Angels, SeventySix Capital and Elysian Park Ventures, the investment arm operated by the Dodgers’ ownership group. The round brings ShotTracker’s total funding to date to more than $21M. The company, which also participated in ’16 in the Dodgers’ Accelerator Program with R/GA Ventures, intends to use the fund toward growth and installations of its technology in additional courts. ShotTracker’s real-time analytics involve sensors in court rafters, the ball and individual players.