What FanDuel CEO said about Disney, Fanatics betting on sports

A sign hangs on the wall in the lobby of Fanduel Inc.’s offices. in Edinburgh, UK, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.

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In the five years since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the way for states to legalize sports betting, $220 billion has been wagered in legal gambling establishments, according to the American Gaming Association, a number that continues to rise as more states legalize betting. . Currently, 35 states and Washington, DC, have legalized betting, according to the AGA.

Continued growth has helped industry leaders FanDuel and Draftkings, which together account for more than 80% of the US sports betting market, while other big players like Caesars and BetMGM have looked to carve out their niche.

But while the sports betting market is already saturated, some of the biggest companies that already own sports are trying to get in on the action as well. In August, Disney’s ESPN launched a sports book called ESPN Bet in partnership with Penn Entertainment. Fanatics, the sports betting company founded by Michael Rubin, acquired the US operation of PointsBet after several years of searching for an opportunity to enter the sports betting market.

FanDuel CEO Amy Howe, speaking to CNBC’s Contessa Brewer at the CNBC Global Evolve conference on Thursday, said that while she hopes to see “the best performers, the strongest competitors in the field” while the betting industry is still in its early days, there are reasons why other major players have failed to catch on.

“What we do know is that you have to have the highest level of knowledge, right? At the end of the day, if your product doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how big your brand is, you have to have a real passion. It’s amazing,” said Howe, who joined FanDuel. from Ticketmaster in 2021. “But at the same time, one of the things we’re seeing, which is not different from most commercial industries, is that you have to .”

FanDuel, which is a division of Flutter Entertainment, has a presence in all 50 states and relationships with players including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, as well as teams, broadcasting companies and Google, which acquired rights to the NFL. Last year’s Sunday ticket.

“Because we’re still in the early days, like any e-commerce business, there’s competition and competition to make sure we can bring the best buyers to our platform,” Howe said. “These are partnerships that we have been building over the years as online sports betting was legalized in countries.”

Mr Howe said he expects the company to be profitable on EBITDA for the full year, which would make it the first operator in the US to achieve this milestone, which would help stop other companies competing in the market.

“In a world like online sports betting, the barriers to entry are high. … You have to be licensed; you have to navigate a very complex regulatory environment. There’s a lot of money you can spend on developing a great tool and technology platform. And, by the way, , you’re spending a lot of money to make sure you can bring consumers back to your platform,” Howe said.

“This is not for the faint of heart. And if you sit there with a small fraction of one figure, and you don’t have that kind of opportunity in the long run, it’s difficult to reinvest to provide what consumers want,” he said.

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