After years as a pioneer and leading company in the daily fantasy sports industry, FanDuel has now joined primary rival DraftKings in the new legalized sports betting space in New Jersey.
FanDuel Sportsbook NJ announced its sportsbook intentions shortly after DraftKings, but it has been making up ground at a brisk pace since that point.
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The first significant public indicator that FanDuel would enter the sports betting realm came in April 2018, when European betting giant Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) announced it was acquiring the company, pending regulatory approval.
That approval was granted July 11, giving PPB an initial 61 percent stake in the company, which is poised to grow to full ownership over the next five years.
The leadership of both companies has publicly lauded the move as one that will provide multiple benefits and allow the newly christened FanDuel Group to expand into a market that the company has no prior experience.
“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,” FanDuel CEO Matt 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.”
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FanDuel Sportsbook includes some of the most common and popular forms of sports bets.
Additionally, the sportsbook features additional options such as in-game wagering, parlays (bets on multiple games) and proposition bets (wagers on individual players reaching specific statistical benchmarks within a game, for example).
With PPB now the majority owner of FanDuel and the European gaming giant already operating an online sportsbook, there is a significant amount of synergy between that entity and FanDuel’s iteration.
FanDuel’s online sportsbook includes the following betting options:
- Point spreads: Bettors will be able to wager whether the favorite in an athletic contest will be able to win a game by at least margin of victory the sportsbook is predicting, aka the spread. Conversely, they can bet whether the underdog will win the game outright or lose by fewer points than the sportsbook’s predicted margin. In other words, beat/cover the spread.
- Moneylines: For each athletic contest, each participating team is assigned a three-digit number, either positive or negative, which is reflective of the team’s probability of winning the game. The more the team is favored, the more a bettor will have to wager to win $100. Conversely, the bigger an underdog a team is considered, the more payout there is per $100 wagered. As an example, a relatively heavy underdog will have a positive three-digit number, such as +250, assigned. That signifies that $250 is paid out per $100 bet on that team. A heavy favorite meanwhile, might have a -225 assigned, for example. Thus, bettors will have to wager $225 to win $100.
- Totals: Bettors will be able to wager on whether two teams in an athletic contest will score more or less combined points than that which the sportsbook is posting as its prediction.
- Futures: As the name implies, futures involve wagers that are typically placed on a team’s final record/standing at the end of a season. These are usually offered with straight odds or a moneyline and involve propositions such a team winning a division, conference or league championship.
How the FanDuel Sportsbook was formed
Days after the announcement that PPB’s acquisition of FanDuel was complete, the first FanDuel-branded sports betting product went live. The aptly named FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack made its debut July 14. It had a successful opening weekend, with reports indicating that more than $1 million was wagered.
PPB had reached an agreement with the Meadowlands earlier in the year to have North American subsidiary Betfair US (now FanDuel Group) operate their sportsbook. The decision to utilize the FanDuel brand is in line with the company’s previously announced strategy to do so on all U.S.-facing consumer platforms.
FanDuel Group is utilizing International Game Technology (IGT)’s sports betting software platform to power its aforementioned sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The agreement between the two companies was announced July 16.
As per the announcement, IGT’s technology will also be powering “self-service kiosks and other retail services” for FanDuel Group within the Garden State in “the coming months.” In turn, IGT’s software is in the process of being integrated into yet another platform as a result of a second business-to-business partnership that FanDuel Group forged later in the same week.
FanDuel Group announced an agreement with leading B2B gaming software supplier GAN on July 19 in which the latter’s overriding function will be to “launch Internet sports betting in New Jersey for FanDuel.”
The press release touting the partnership provided further details on how precisely what role GAN will play in making FanDuel’s online sports betting product a reality:
- GAN is working to complete the integration into the GAN Platform of FanDuel’s nominated Internet sports betting software, which is a combination of IGT’s sports platform and Paddy Power Betfair’s leading pricing, trading and risk management technology, along with a user interface designed for the US customer by the FanDuel team.
- FanDuel Sportsbook NJ expects to launch a FanDuel-branded website and to accompany mobile app offering Internet sports betting that leverages GAN’s enterprise software later this year.
In essence, GAN will act as an “umbrella” software solution for FanDuel’s sportsbook, working with IGT’s existing software while also providing a number of services essential to online sportsbook operation and regulatory compliance.
- Secure storage of regulated customer personal information and banking data
- Single account/wallet for casino and sports betting
- Comprehensive identification protocols, KYC and geolocation
- Responsible gaming controls, including limits and exclusions
- Federal W2G reporting and withholding on both casino and sports winnings
- Financial, operational and regulatory reporting, which includes sports betting history
Where did FanDuel start?
FanDuel’s origins in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry trace back to 2009 when it secured $1.2 million in venture capital funding. At the time, the company was one of the first to incorporate elements of traditional season-long fantasy sports into a real-money daily format.
Alongside its foray into sports betting, FanDuel Sportsbook NJ will continue to offer its vast array of DFS contests. The company currently provides a variety of DFS product for the following leagues/sports: