Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Paddy Power Betfair plc Its in Merger Talks with FanDuel

Paddy Power Betfair plc Its in Merger Talks with FanDuel

Paddy Power Betfair has said it is in discussions regarding a potential combination of its U.S. business and fantasy sports company Fanduel to target the prospective USA sports betting market.

In a brief stock market statement, the bookmaker said discussions were under way to "create a combined business to target the prospective United States sports betting market".

The UK operator said discussions with Fanduel, which hands cash prizes to players who pick successful fantasy sports teams, were ongoing and that there was no certainty any deal would go ahead.

The move comes just days after the USA relaxed its gambling laws, providing an opening for the likes of William Hill and Paddy.

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More than £1.5 billion was added to the value of British bookmaking firms yesterday after the US Supreme Court issued a judgment that could lead to sports betting being legalised across America.

FanDuel was part of merger discussion past year with rival DraftKings but the plan was scrapped in July after a legal challenge by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Nearly exactly a year ago, Paddy Power Betfair acquired daily fantasy sports platform Draft in a deal worth around US$50mln. States will now be able to choose individually whether to legalise sports betting.

The move offers a potential lifeline to United Kingdom bookmakers, which are braced for the imminent outcome of a review into so-called fixed-odds betting terminals that is expected to slash the maximum stake punters are allowed to bet.

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