Ireland’s Paddy Power Betfair, one of the largest online sports betting companies in the world, is reportedly in talks with New York-based daily fantasy sports app FanDuel in an attempt to capitalize on the U.S. sports betting market.
In a statement published Wednesday, Paddy Power Betfair confirmed it is “in discussions” with FanDuel about a “potential combination” of Paddy Power’s U.S. business and FanDuel “to create a combined business to target the prospective U.S. sports betting market.”
Paddy Power also said that there is “no certainty” as to whether an agreement will be reached. FanDuel said it would not comment on the news.
The potential deal comes on the heels of a major shift in U.S. law to allow sports wagering. A Supreme Court decision on Monday ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which forced all states except for Nevada to prohibit competitive sports gambling, is unconstitutional. The decision paves the way for all 50 states to legalize and regulate sports betting through state legislation. Congress can pass a federal law, but states are free to pass their own regulations.
With five million users, Paddy Power Betfair is a powerhouse in the sports betting world. If the FanDuel deal goes through, it would not be the company’s first move into the U.S. market. Last May, Paddy Power Betfair acquired Draft, another daily fantasy sports app, for $48 million. The company also runs an online casino in New Jersey, a horse racing betting exchange, and the U.S. horseracing TV channel TVG Network.
FanDuel’s business model was legal before this week’s Supreme Court decision because fantasy sports contests are exempt from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Platforms like FanDuel and competitor DraftKings allow users to build fantasy sports teams around the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL teams, pay an entry fee and compete for cash prizes.
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