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State of the Union: FanDuel, Canada, Colorado and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes Flutter’s pruchase of a further 37.2% of FanDuel, the Canadian Government’s decision to pick up a single-event sports wagering bill and another record month of sports betting in Colorado.

Flutter ups FanDuel stake to 95% in $4.18bn deal

Paddy Power Betfair and Pokerstars owner Flutter Entertainment has conditionally agreed to purchase a further 37.2% stake in US betting and daily fantasy sports brand FanDuel from Fastball for $4.18bn(£3.13bn).

The deal will increase its stake in the business from 57.8% to 95%.Flutter then intends to offer media giant Fox Sports the option to purchase 18.5% of the brand for fair market value in July 2021.

Flutter will pay $2.09bn to Fastball – a consortium of investors headed by venture capital giant KKR – in cash for its entire stake in the business, of which £1.1bn ($1.48bn) will be funded through an equity placement that has launched today.

Canadian Government backs single-event betting bill

The Canadian Government has introduced a bill to allow legal sports wagering on single events, picking up the bill introduced earlier this month by Kevin Waugh MP.

The bill was initially introduced by Conservative Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh as Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, but will now be reintroduced by the Minister of Justice as “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (single event sport betting)”.

The bill would repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code, which states that sports betting is only legal if players bet simultaneously on at least three games or more.

Colorado sports betting GGR rockets to record $17.4m in October

The Colorado Department of Revenue has revealed that a record monthly handle of $210.7m in October helped drive the state to a new gross gaming revenue high of $17.4m.

Gross gaming revenue in October amounted to $17.4m, up 314.2% from $4.2m in September and a new monthly record for the state.

Online wagering was responsible for $16.7m of gross gaming revenue during the month, compared to just $667,943 from retail operations in Colorado.

Landcadia II looks to complete GNOG deal on Dec 18

Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company Landcadia Holdings II has called a special meeting on December 18 for shareholders to approve its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG).

In lieu of its 2020 annual meeting of stockholders, the company has scheduled the special meeting to approve the proposed business combination with GNOG.

DraftKings scores new partnership with NBA’s Pistons

Sports betting and fantasy sports provider DraftKings has agreed a partnership with National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise the Detroit Pistons.

DraftKings will serve as the team’s exclusive official daily fantasy sports partner, as well as an official sports betting and igaming partner of the franchise.

Rush Street Interactive raises guidance after Q3 revenue skyrockets

Rush Street Interactive – the digital arm of Rush Street Gaming – has raised its full-year revenue guidance by 20% to between $265m and $275m, after it saw revenue grow 369.5% to $72.8m in the third quarter of 2020.

Rush Street Interactive chairman Richard Schwartz said the business’s growth in revenue highlighted its leading position in the US betting and igaming market.

BCLC interim chief executive to step down

Canadian provincial lottery operator the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has announced that Greg Moore will step down as its interim president and chief executive in January.

Moore took on the temporary roles in September last year after Jim Lightbody began medical leave to undergo cancer treatment and recovery.

Nevada casinos limited to 25% of capacity

Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak has put in place a number of increased restrictions to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), including a limit of 25% capacity on casinos, to be in place for the next three weeks.

The measures took effect yesterday (24 November) and were developed in partnership with public health experts, business and economic leaders.

Lancadia II given New Jersey approval for GNOG acquisition 

Lancadia Holdings II, the Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company that is in the process of acquiring Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) has been granted regulatory approval for the deal in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission issued an online casino license to GNOG at the meeting, meaning it is approved as a separate entity to the land-based casino business.

Genius expands data portfolio with American Hockey League

Genius Sports Group has entered a long-term data and streaming partnership with the American Hockey League (AHL), the main development league for the National Hockey League (NHL).

Under the agreement, Genius will serve as the AHL’s official data and streaming partner for betting purposes.

Rhode Island posts record mobile sports betting revenue

The Rhode Island Lottery reported significant growth for sports betting in October 2020, with handle and revenue increasing across both mobile and land-based channels.

Sports fans in the state wagered $34.7m in October, up 22.6% from the $28.3m wagered this time last year. Handle was also up 10.9% compared to September 2020.

FanDuel expands NBA presence with Detroit Pistons deal

National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise the Detroit Pistons has signed up a second gaming partner of the day, pairing up with Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel Group.

Under the agreement, FanDuel will serve as an official sports betting partner of the Pistons.

Genius expands data portfolio with American Hockey League

Genius Sports Group has entered a long-term data and streaming partnership with the American Hockey League (AHL), the main development league for the National Hockey League (NHL).

Under the agreement, Genius will serve as the AHL’s official data and streaming partner for betting purposes.

MGM Resorts raises $700m from MGP units redemption

MGM Resorts International has raised $700m after arranging for real estate investment trust (REIT) MGM Growth Properties (MGP) to redeem 23.5m operating partnership units.

The redemption represents the remaining amount agreed under an existing arrangement for MGP to secure up to $1.4bn of MGM Resorts units in exchange for cash.

Caesars to offload Louisiana property to Casino Queen parent

Caesars Entertainment has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casino in Louisiana to CQ Holding Company, the parent company of Illinois’ Casino Queen.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Caesars noted that if the sale went ahead, the Baton Rouge will be removed from the Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) Master Lease.

BonusFinder secures affiliate license in Michigan

Performance marketing business BonusFinder has secured a new affiliate license in Michigan, ahead of the launch of online sports betting and igaming in the state.

The license will enable BonusFinder to collate and display bonuses and other offers from operators that hold a sports wagering license in Michigan.

Sports Bet Montana pays out $11.4m since launch

Sports Bet Montana has paid out more than $11.4m to sports bettors in the state since wagering began in March, with small businesses offering the Sports Bet Montana service have earned more than $718,000 in commission.

The sports betting brand, operated by the Montana Lottery and powered by Intralot, was launched in March after legislation passed in 2019 came into effect. The operator said it was designed to benefit Montana’s players, businesses and citizens.

PlayUp appoints Monmouth Park CEO Drazin to board

Australian online betting operator PlayUp has appointed Dennis Drazin – who helped drive the push for legal sports betting in the US as chairman and chief executive of Monmouth Park operator Darby Development – to its board of directors.

PlayUp said Drazin would work “directly” with PlayUp US chief executive Dr Laila Mintas in order to help drive growth in the US and elsewhere. PlayUp appointed Mintas – a professor of sports law at Columbia University and previously chair of Bet.Works’ strategic advisory board – to lead its US operations in July.