DraftKings-FanDuel Merger Off; Connecticut Preps For Legal Sports Betting

Written By Steve Ruddock on July 14, 2017 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
DraftKings FanDuel merger halted

It was a big, old “nothing burger” for daily fantasy sports legislation last week, but there was no shortage of DFS news, as the merger of DraftKings and FanDuel has been officially nixed by the two companies.

On the sports betting front, there are a number of interesting plot twists and turns to discuss as New Jersey’s case awaits a date in the Supreme Court. On a related note, Connecticut further positioned itself to be among the first sports-betting states should New Jersey win that case.

DFS legislation update

As noted above, when it comes to legislation, it was all quiet on the front. However, there is still a lot of active DFS legislation in statehouses across the country.

The DFS bill tally

The number of states that have introduced bills to legalize DFS in 2017 remains at 25. And the number of states with active legislation stands at 18:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Delaware
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. Hawaii
  8. Illinois
  9. Iowa
  10. Kentucky
  11. Maine
  12. Michigan
  13. Minnesota
  14. Montana
  15. Nebraska
  16. New Jersey
  17. New Hampshire
  18. North Carolina
  19. Ohio
  20. Oregon
  21. Pennsylvania
  22. Rhode Island
  23. Texas
  24. Vermont
  25. Washington

Legal Sports Report’s legislative tracker has up-to-the-minute updates on all DFS legislation.

No merger for you!

The big news of the week was DraftKings and FanDuel 86’ing their proposed merger.

The merger has been in jeopardy ever since the feds announced they would fight to stop the marriage of the two DFS powerhouses, as the Federal Trade Commission had concerns about a potential monopoly should the two companies become one.

Apparently the two companies concluded they didn’t have much of a chance of winning the argument against the FTC — or it would have taken too much money and time — and withdrew their lawsuit earlier this week.

Both companies also issued statements calling off the deal, and in an email to customers, DraftKings wrote:

“Today we formally terminated our merger with FanDuel and will withdraw litigation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This means we will move forward as a separate company, which we believe is the best course in the interest of you – our customers and avid sports fans.”

Sports betting legalization update

Connecticut makes it official

After Gov. Dan Malloy signed a bill authorizing to regulate sports betting should changes to federal law allow it, Connecticut is likely to be one of the first states in the US to offer legal sports betting … that is, if New Jersey can win its Supreme Court case.

Legal Sports Report’s Dustin Gouker has more on this story here.

SCOTUS update

Speaking of the Supreme Court case, there is no shortage of insights, opinions, and analysis being served up.

The great debate

There’s an ongoing Twitter debate about the possibility of online sports betting and how quickly it might occur.

Chief Justice sympathetic to NJ?

There’s also the news that Chief Justice John Roberts once filed a brief on behalf of the casino industry in a 1999 case.

MLB wants to weigh in on regulations

And finally, there are the comments of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who said the following to The Associated Press:

“If there’s going to be a change in the regulatory structure with respects to sports gambling, we needed to be in a position to meaningfully engage and shape, try to shape what the new regulatory scheme looks like … We’re in the process of talking to our owners and figuring out where we want to be in the event that there is in fact a significant change coming.”

Sports betting legislation

There are nine states that have either taken up the fight to repeal PASPA or are exploring legislation that would authorize sports betting — again, if federal sports betting laws were to change:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Hawaii
  3. Maryland
  4. Michigan
  5. New Jersey
  6. New York
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. South Carolina
  9. West Virginia
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Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the gambling industry, having been a longtime contributor to numerous publications both online and off centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. Steve is based in Massachusetts.

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