With a new era in gambling beginning across the country, FanDuel is ready to make a case as the go-to sportsbook.
After the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) on May 14, every state outside of Nevada can now lay the groundwork for legalized sports betting.
Already staking claims in some states with regulatory frameworks, FanDuel has begun its dive into unchartered waters.
What is FanDuel Sportsbook?
For years, FanDuel has competed with DraftKings as the king of DFS. As a result, that industry has exploded in popularity over the years.
First launching in 2009, FanDuel is considered the second-largest DFS company. Over the past year, DFS has generated $3.2 billion in entry fees and $335 million in revenue.
FanDuel runs a standard DFS operation, though with a few formats that set itself apart. In Friends Mode, for example, players compete in private leagues with people they know. Everybody Wins allows for every player to win some sort of cash prize, and FanDuel Bingo is essentially a digital bingo contest based on in-game events from specific sports.
FanDuel gets into sports betting
Even before PASPA was struck down by the US Supreme Court, FanDuel, like its DFS counterpart, was adamant about its intentions to join the sports betting industry.
In a May interview with Forbes, FanDuel CEO Matt King said “it would be very logical for us to get into it.” He added that FanDuel is “uniquely positioned to fulfill that market demand.”
A week after the SCOTUS ruling, Dublin-based gaming company Paddy Power Betfair announced it was acquiring FanDuel. That deal was finalized July 11, as PPB became the majority owner of FanDuel to form FanDuel Group.
From an email to FanDuel users announcing the deal:
“Today is a milestone for the sports industry. We are excited to share that we closed our previously announced merger agreement with Paddy Power Betfair to combine our US businesses, allowing us to move forward with our promise to provide you, our loyal users, an even better experience.”
When the deal was announced two months earlier, PPB believed that FanDuel controlled 40 percent of the DFS market in the US, giving the gaming company a strong foothold in the sports betting market.
“FanDuel and Betfair US share an enthusiasm for innovation and, as a result of today’s announcement, are prepared to lead the charge into the US sports betting market,” King said. “The combination of our brands and team, along with a shared culture and vision for the future, will allow us to create the leading gaming destination for sports fans everywhere.”
Where will FanDuel Sportsbook sports betting exist?
Once PPB swooped in to acquire FanDuel, King said the company was “incredibly well-positioned” to go live with sports betting operations in states where legalized sports betting would be rolled out in the near future.
Just a few days before New Jersey sports betting was legalized on June 11, Betfair US – the American arm of PPB – announced it had reached a long-term agreement with Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and Tioga Downs in New York.
Although legislation for NY sports betting fell apart, the Garden State was in full force. On July 14, a FanDuel-branded sportsbook opened for business at Meadowlands.
That debut is a strong indication of what the public will see at other locations where PPB will have a presence. For example, in West Virginia, which expects to launch legalized sports betting by the fall, a similar deal was reached at The Greenbrier resort.
What will be offered at FanDuel Sportsbooks?
With the Meadowlands sportsbook now operational and a press release detailing the operation in West Virginia, we have a fairly clear picture of what a FanDuel sportsbook will look like.
There will be on-site windows to accept wagers, ranging from the major sports such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and soccer. Additionally, a FanDuel-branded website and mobile app is expected to be launched some time down the road.
It is worth noting that online betting is now legalized in New Jersey, though no sportsbook has taken advantage just yet.
At The Greenbrier, a private casino, it is unclear if online wagering will be available to the public or just for resort members and guests.
Upon opening, the Meadowlands sportsbook had limited plays available. There were no futures, as typically found elsewhere, like at the William Hill sportsbooks at Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino, both also in New Jersey.
That said, a look at other Betfair offers allows for some speculation as to what the future holds for FanDuel sportsbooks.
Sports betting is traditionally built on four pillars, all of which are offered via Betfair books:
- Point spreads: The most common selection for bettors, a sportsbook estimates what the margin of victory will be for a specific team. Customers lay money down on the underdog, which will “cover the spread” if it wins outright or loses by less than the determined spread, or take the favorite and hope that team wins by more than the estimated margin.
- Money lines: In a given contest, teams will be assigned a number, either positive or negative, that determines the payouts if that team wins. A positive number (+200, for example) is what is paid per $100 bet ($200 for every $100 bet). A negative figure (-200) is how much needs to be paid to win $100 ($100 won for every $200 bet).
- Totals: Over/under falls in this category. Bookmakers estimate, for example, how many combined points will be scored between two teams in the same game. Customers then put money down on the over or the under.
- Futures: Typically offered with straight odds or a moneyline, this format traditionally involves betting on a team to win a division, conference and/or league championship.
There is some in-play betting through Betfair, though it is unclear if it will be available at FanDuel sites. Under this play, bettors wager during live contests. Other popular formats are parlays, in which bettors put money down on multiple contests as part of a single bet, and proposition bets, in which customers wager on specific events within a given contest (such as predicting the coin flip outcome at the Super Bowl).
Stay tuned for more information and updates on FanDuel sports betting.