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Paddy Power Betfair declares interest in FanDuel

17 May 2018

The Irish bookmaker is targeting America after a Supreme Court ruling on Monday paved the way for states to legalise sports gambling.

Paddy Power Betfair is considering merging part of its business with a fantasy sports company to target the USA sports betting market.

"Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty as to whether agreement will be reached, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction", Paddy said in a stock market announcement.

The company which operates from about ten years now offers a great variety of DFS to US customers and has already confirmed its willingness to enter the sport betting market of the country following the US Supreme Court ruling a couple of days ago.

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Companies such as Paddy Power are looking for growth opportunities to offset the increasing cost of regulation in established markets such as Britain and Australia.

The company, which owns a USA horse racing channel and betting network, paid $48m for FanDeal's smaller rival DRAFT.

The announcement came the day after the announcement of the removal of PASPA which allow individual states in the USA to determine the legality of sports betting. FanDuel and DraftKings, the market leaders in the USA fantasy sports industry, ended merger talks previous year over concerns that the Federal Trade Commission would not look favorably on the deal.

Paddy Power Betfair has made the first move in an expected wave of takeover activity prompted by the legalisation of sports betting in the U.S., as it launched a bid for fantasy sports league company FanDuel.

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FanDeal and another rival, DraftKings, held merger talks but plans were called off after the US Federal Trade Commission opposed the deal.

FanDuel grew to become one of two Scots unicorns, with a $1 billion valuation, alongside Skyscanner.

The talks may be the start of a wave of deals involving betting companies in the U.S. In the same way we revolutionized fantasy sports, we will bring innovation to the sports betting space.

"For both sides, a deal would make a huge amount of sense strategically and on the face of it, an amalgamated business would represent a powerful combination in the US sports betting market", Davy analysts wrote in a note.

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Paddy Power Betfair declares interest in FanDuel