- UK-based gambling conglomerate Paddy Power Betfair is considering buying FanDuel, according to multiple reports.
- A US ban on sports gambling has recently been struck down, and the acquisition would give the British gambling giant a doorway into the American market.
- The terms of the potential deal are not yet clear.
The United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting sports betting, and the British gambling giant behind Paddy Power and Betfair wants a piece of the action.
Paddy Power Betfair – valued on the public markets at £6.5 billion ($US8.8 billion) – is close to buying FanDuel, a New York-based fantasy sports company, according to multiple media reports. Business Insider also spoke to a source with knowledge of the deal.
According to The Financial Times, Paddy Power Betfair is due to make an announcement on Wednesday morning, and that negotiations are “ongoing.”
Legal Sports Report, meanwhile, reported that the two companies are “close” to a deal, but that it’s not clear when it might be finalised.
FanDuel lets users build fantasy teams, follow games, and win cash, and it would offer Paddy Power Betfair a major doorway into the US market – as well as details on tens of millions of users that might use its other gambling products. (Paddy Power Betfair already has a horseracing TV network called TVG in the US, and some smaller operations.) As of 2016, FanDuel was said to be worth over $US1 billion.
On Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled that a ban of sports betting is unconstitutional, paving the way for the individual states to legalise sports gambling.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already passed such legislation, and a recent study found that 14 states are likely to have sports gambling within two years, including Montana, Colorado, Michigan, and Massachusetts.
In 2017, FanDuel had planned to merge with rival DraftKings, but it was called off after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it would oppose the merger. Paddy Power Betfair was formed in 2016 when Paddy Power and Betfair merged.
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