Flutter Entertainment Responds to FanDuel Public Listing Rumors

  • Flutter stated that it is considering a FanDuel listing, but it has not made a decision yet
  • The gambling group’s LSE shares rose by more than 6% in Monday morning trading
  • After buying another 37.2% FanDuel stake in December, Flutter owns 95% of the company
  • Investors believe Flutter shares trade at a discount to DraftKings despite FanDuel’s dominance
  • FanDuel claims to have 40% US market share; revenue was 50% more than DraftKings’ in 2020
Stock ticker with "GOING PUBLIC" inserted in the middle
Flutter Entertainment is reportedly considering spinning off US-focused sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel as a publicly traded company. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

No decision made

CNBC reported on Friday that Flutter Entertainment is considering taking its US-focused gambling operator FanDuel public. Responding to the rumor, Flutter stated on Saturday that “options including the listing in the US of a small shareholding in FanDuel” are under consideration, but it has made no decision as of yet.

an announcement will be “made as appropriate”

The company outlined how it often evaluates its capital and organizational structure in order to consider the optimal way to deliver on the group’s strategy. The Flutter statement ended by underlining that if the company decides to proceed with such a listing, an announcement will be “made as appropriate.”

Flutter’s shares, listed on the London Stock Exchange, increased by more than 6% Monday morning on the back of the news.

Ownership of FanDuel

Flutter Entertainment has gradually built up its equity in FanDuel in recent years. The Ireland-based gambling group currently owns a 95% stake in FanDuel, with the operator acting as Flutter’s main US-focused offering. US casino company Boyd Gaming owns the remaining 5% stake.

One area that might cause some complications with a possible public listing is that Fox Corporation has the option to purchase 18.5% of FanDuel in July. Dating back to a May 2019 partnership agreement, Fox Corporation currently owns a 2.5% stake in Flutter and possesses a ten-year option to purchase half the US-based business of the Stars Group. The Stars Group became a part of Flutter in May 2020 after a merger; Fox Bet became one of Flutter’s brands.

CNBC reported that numerous Flutter investors are frustrated that Flutter is seemingly trading at a price discount to US-focused DraftKings, despite FanDuel having a major market share. Some investors also believe that when Flutter acquired an additional 37.2% FanDuel stake last December, it was with the eventual aim to spin off FanDuel. This portion of Flutter’s business is the one that currently has the best growth prospects.

A number of US-focused online gambling operators have gone public over the past year or plan to do so in the near future, including the DraftKings, Rush Street Interactive, and Golden Nugget Online Gaming.

A strong position in the US market

Flutter announced its plan to buy a 61% stake in FanDuel in May 2018 following the end of the US federal ban on sports betting. It had the option to increase its controlling stake in the operator over time.

US sports betting market will be worth around $19.5bn by 2025

Flutter estimated a few weeks ago that it believes the US sports betting market will be worth around $19.5bn by 2025. This is largely the product of more states now looking like they will legalize betting in the coming years than in previous estimates.

FanDuel’s reported revenue last year was $967m, 50% more than DraftKings. It also claims to be the leading sports betting operator in the US market with a 40% market share. In comparison, DraftKings had revenue of $644m in 2020 and estimates that this will rise to between $900m and $1bn in 2021. Currently, FanDuel has online sportsbooks live in ten states.

In addition to FanDuel, Flutter Entertainment has many other notable gambling brands under its umbrella, including Betfair, Paddy Power, TVG, PokerStars, and Fox Bet. It is currently the world’s biggest online gambling group.

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