Paddy Power Betfair US affiliate offering sports betting on smart phones

Irish gambling giant’s US affiliate Fanduel is extending service to customers in New Jersey

Observers expect Paddy Power Betfair to face increased competition as sports wagering expands. Photograph: Paddy Power Betfair/PA

Observers expect Paddy Power Betfair to face increased competition as sports wagering expands. Photograph: Paddy Power Betfair/PA

 

Irish gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair’s US affiliate Fanduel has begun offering sports betting on smart phones to customers in New Jersey.

Paddy Power Betfair owns 61 per cent of Fanduel following a merger agreed after the US Supreme Court ended a federal ban on betting on sports such as football, basketball and athletics.

Fanduel launched its sportsbook app at the weekend, which will allow New Jersey residents to bet on football and basketball games,and other events, through smart phones and PCs. Fanduel has linked up with Dublin and London based gambling technology and services provider GAN to deliver the technology.

The move is a key step for the company in tapping the newly liberalised sports betting market in New Jersey, where it has a long-standing presence.

Dublin-based Paddy Power Betfair has formed a number of alliances designed to aid give it a strong position in the US sports betting market, potentially worth $120 billion (€103 million), since the court ruling in June.

New Jersey was one of the first states to allow licenced operators offer sports betting after the court lifted the federal ban in May.

Range of markets

In common with the apps used by Paddy Power Betfair customers jurisdictions such as the Republic and UK, it allows clients to be on a range of markets on any given event.

Chief executive, Matt King, explained that the company was using experience gained while offering sports betting at Meadowlands racetrack along with Paddy Power Betfair’s existing expertise.

“Fanduel is creating a new genre of entertainment and sports betting is another way we can bring fans closer and more engaged with the games and teams the follow,” he said.

Fanduel’s launch also coincides with the beginning of the new National Football League season, tournament that US sports fans follow closely.

The US business already offers sports betting in the state at Meadowlands racetrack, with which Paddy Power Betfair struck a partnership deal days after merging its operations with Fanduel in June.

New Jersey punters have been betting on sports at six casinos and two racetracks in the state since June.

Last week, trade publications estimated that New Jersey sports fans bet a total of $40 million on sports in July, the first full month that betting on such events was legalised.

Increased competition

However, observers expect Paddy Power Betfair to face increased competition as sports wagering expands.

William Hill, a rival in European markets including the UK, also began offering on-line sports betting this week.

The British group recently announced a sports betting partnership with casino operator Eldorado Resorts, which is buying the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported days ago that industry analysts Eilers & Krejcik estimated that New Jersey could have more than 20 licenced operators offering sports betting by the end of the year.

In May, the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law that barred states, except Nevada and a handful of others, from legalising betting on sports such as football and basketball, which have huge audiences.

The federal ban did not extend to betting on horseracing, which is mostly done through on-course pools from which states take a percentage.

Legalise sports wagering

Many states signalled that they would legalise sports wagering, as they want to raise extra revenue by taxing it.

Jurisdictions such as New York, where Paddy Power Betfair has a partnership with harness racing venue and casino Tioga Downs, could follow New Jersey’s example in coming months.

The Irish group took 61 per cent of Fanduel in June after contributing its US businesses, which include racing channel TVG and €135 million to the company.