FanDuel teams up with Boyd to tackle the US market
Valley Forge Casino hasn’t yet taken advantage of the new legal landscape in Pennsylvania and applied for a sports betting licence, but it soon will. We know this because a deal between FanDuel and Valley Forge Casino owner Boyd Gaming Corp (BGC), has been finalized, ensuring FanDuel a strong presence in the burgeoning legal US sports betting market.
The endeavor began earlier this year, when Irish gaming company Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) bought a controlling interest in the well known daily fantasy sports (DFS) company Fanduel. It was a synergistic acquisition and it gave PPB the perfect company and brand to use in America.
Soon after the acquisition, FanDuel made a deal with BGC that gives FanDuel legal access to the sports betting market in all US states where BGC currently has a gaming license. The deal also applies in states where BGC has partnered with MGM Resorts to share licences and market access. The only state left out of the deal is Nevada’s already well-developed sports betting market. In return, BGC gains a much needed technology partner, a veteran sports book, and a well-known brand with which to bring legal sports-betting to the (potentially 49) US states who have gone without it for so long.
This partnership gives both companies a whole lot of what they need right now.
Keith Smith (BGC’s president and CEO) said, thanks to the partnership, his properties “will be positioned to build market-leading sports-betting and online gaming operations in each state.”
Matt King (FanDuel Group CEO) echoed similar sentiments, saying:
“With more than 40 years of experience, Boyd Gaming is a leader in the gaming and entertainment space, and a natural partner as we continue to build a leading position in the sports betting market. There is incredible momentum in the sports betting space and we look forward to partnering with Boyd Gaming to bring the FanDuel Sportsbook to more customers across the United States.”
PA makes three… so far
FanDuel already has established a presence in two US states (New Jersey and West Virginia) and with this deal, Pennsylvania makes three. In New Jersey, FanDuel’s partner casino is Meadowlands Racetrack, where they launched a brick and mortar sports book in June. In West Virginia (where sports betting launched just this week) FanDuel has partnered with two casinos and will soon have their sports books up and running.
FanDuel has (and will surely make more) strong casino partnerships and also has a clear commitment to acquiring and serving a broad US sports betting market. They’re active in three US states so far, and many more are sure to follow soon.
How soon can bets be made at Valley Forge?
As mentioned above, Valley Forge hasn’t yet officially applied for a PA sports betting license or paid the $10 million fee. Despite that high initial cost (not to mention the 36 percent tax rate PA is to levy on sports betting), they will be doing so as quickly as they can.
It’s unlikely they will be ready for a license hearing at the next (Sept 12) meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), but they could be ready by the next scheduled meeting on Oct 2.
If they do, how quickly can they begin accepting bets? PGCB regulations state that sports betting license applications must be submitted 90 days in advance of the launch of operations. Despite this, if the application process goes smoothly and the PGCB shortens the timeline with quick approval, it’s possible that the FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Resort Casino could go live in November or December of this year.
Until then, what to do?
Pennsylvanian’s who can’t wait to scratch their sports-related gambling itches might want to consider another brand new gaming opportunity in the state. The Pennsylvania Lottery has recently launched a lottery game (two actually) called Xpress Sports. It’s not real football (or car racing), but it has the look and feel of betting on those two types of sporting contests. It’s a lot of fun and totally legal, and best of all, you can win real money.
There is also the Pennsylvania Online Lottery. It’s also legal, quick, and fun, and played for real money. There are two nice bonuses now available too. New players get $5 free to play when they sign up and players get a 50% bonus up to $50 when they make their initial deposits onto the site.