Latest agreement in U.S. sports betting realm: Boyd Gaming and FanDuel

August 3, 2018 4:02 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
August 3, 2018 4:02 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

Regional casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. and FanDuel Group, one of the founding companies in the daily fantasy sports universe, became the latest businesses to join together in the quickly evolving legal U.S. sports betting universe.

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In an announcement Thursday afternoon, the companies said they entered into a strategic partnership arraignment to pursue sports betting and online gaming opportunities across the United States.

On Monday, Las Vegas-based Boyd and MGM Resorts International formed an agreement where the two casino companies will offer sports wagering and legal online wagering in 15 states where they have casino resorts. MGM will provide Boyd with market access to five states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and eventually New York.

MGM also announced a 50-50 joint venture partnership with UK-based GVC Holdings to create a U.S.-based sports wagering and online gambling platform.

Nevada, however, is not part of Boyd-FanDuel equation.

Nevada gaming regulators in October 2015 shut down what had been a booming daily fantasy sports enterprise. The Gaming Control Board, based on a state Attorney General’s opinion, said the activity constituted sports wagering under Nevada law. FanDuel, along with rival DraftKings, were told to apply for a Nevada gaming license to operate a sports pool. The Control Board issued a “cease and desist” order that banned the websites from accepting entries from Nevada-based customers.

Neither company applied for a license.

In a statement announcing the deal, no reason was given for Nevada’s exclusion.

FanDuel Group became a subsidiary of United Kingdom-based Paddy Power Betfair plc, a leading international sports betting and gaming operator. This agreement will cover all states where Boyd Gaming holds gaming licenses currently and, in the future, excluding Nevada. Boyd will eventually have casinos in areas that represent more than 36 percent of the U.S. population.

FanDuel Group is the largest online sports destination in the U.S., with 8 million customers across 45 states.

The agreement, subject to state law and regulatory approvals, allows Boyd to operate online gaming and sports wagering using FanDuel’s technology and related services.

The deal allows Boyd to operate Boyd Gaming-branded mobile and online sports-betting and gaming services.  FanDuel Group will establish and operate mobile and online sports-betting and gaming services under the FanDuel brand in the states where Boyd Gaming is licensed, other than Nevada.

Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said in a statement the agreement positions the companies to “capitalize as sports betting and online gaming expand across the country.” He added that Boyd “will be positioned” to add sports betting and online gaming operations as individual states move forward to legalize the activities.

“We will also see immediate benefits from our cross-marketing agreement with FanDuel, introducing millions of FanDuel customers to Boyd Gaming’s properties nationwide,” Smith said.

FanDuel Group CEO Matt King said the “incredible momentum” for legal sports betting in U.S. made the agreement possible.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming analyst Chris Grove said the Boyd-FanDuel deal could be a precursor to a renewed interest in online gaming and online poker in the U.S.

“That’s not to say that such a push won’t remain an uphill one, but both companies appear far more invested in a market where all forms of gambling are available online,” Grove said. “States where the two companies overlap may become uniquely fertile grounds for robust online gambling efforts.”

The two companies will also engage in co-branding and cross-promotional efforts. FanDuel Group will market Boyd Gaming properties through its existing daily fantasy sports service and future interactive sports betting and gaming services, while Boyd Gaming will promote FanDuel’s products to its customer base. FanDuel Group will also provide Boyd Gaming customers access to its existing product line.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.