Officials from Paddy Power Betfair are in negotiations to possibly acquire the US daily fantasy sports site FanDuel. It’s the first major, potential, acquisition of a US sports wagering firm since the US Supreme Court green-lighted regulated sports betting at the state level earlier this week. And, in the eyes of gaming industry watchers, it’s not likely to be the last.
Word of Paddy Power Betfair’s interest in FanDuel was announced on Wednesday and appears to be in its very early stages. In a statement released on its website, Paddy Power Betfair officials confirmed rumors, but cautioned readers against getting ahead of themselves saying:
Paddy Power Betfair plc notes the media speculation, and confirms it is in discussions, regarding a potential combination of the Group’s US business and FanDuel to create a combined business to target the prospective US sports betting market. Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty as to whether agreement will be reached, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction.
Now that sports betting is no longer illegal in the United States, it’s likely that a number of European and UK operators will be trawling America, looking for sports betting expertise. While FanDuel is not, ostensibly, a sports betting firm it is packed with employees who are very familiar with the US sports betting landscape. In all likelihood, that’s what Paddy Power Betfair is actually looking to purchase.
The Supreme Court’s decision this week to put the decision regarding sports betting in the hands of the states has been good news for gaming industry stock prices, including UK firms such as Paddy Power Betfair. Their stock shot up an incredible 12.2 percent on news of the decision on Monday and picked up another six percent on Wednesday.
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