DraftKings Sportsbook’s Juicy Mobile App Launch In New Jersey

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The DraftKings Sportsbook debuted on Wednesday, making the daily fantasy sports-turned-sportsbook operator’s mobile sports betting app the first to hit the market in New Jersey — and further, the first legal betting app available anywhere outside Nevada. On the surface, pretty exciting!

Some recreational folks may be celebrating, but public reception has been lukewarm elsewhere and in some corners downright caustic because, like the FanDuel Sportsbook launch (in retail at the Meadowlands Racetrack) in mid-July, the baseball lines offered are just dismal compared to industry standards (more on this later).

The DK sportsbook right now is in a soft-launch phase with up to 50,000 people in New Jersey supposedly eligible to download, deposit and wager. No doubt DraftKings carefully observed the rollout of the FanDuel Sportsbook and  saw some backlash against their lines. As a result, it seems more likely to me that this pricing is not incompetence or disrespect for its customers … and from a business perspective may actually make sense. (Or shouldn’t be surprising.)

DraftKings Sportsbook Lines on Mobile App Are Way Out of Whack Upon New Jersey Soft Launch: Is This Clueless or Well-Calculated?

OK, so, these lines are rough, as Robert Dellafave to NJ Online Gambling explores and others have noted, when compared with the typical 10-cent baseball money lines (for example, -155 for Team A and +145 for Team B) or 15- or 20-cent lines in some cases you can see below from Las Vegas and offshore books. A look at the pricing from ESPN’s David Purdum:

 

 

So what’s the idea? Right now DraftKings is remaining in a soft launch indefinitely. This is a launch with its self-selected early adopter cohort that will give the company valuable feedback. We really have no clue if the app is available to 50,000 people or 500. I can tell you that I live in New Jersey, have played a decent amount of DFS during NFL season, and have not (yet) been invited to download.

It’s baseball season and they’ve got a one month to ramp up before football season — the Official King of U.S. Sports Betting — to figure things out technologically and also, well, test and evaluate this initial cohort.

First, just how many of its users don’t know that these prices are bad? Second, DK can see how many users bet the lines and cross-reference against their DFS histories. How many and what percentage of its users “invited” (likely MLB DFS players) will download the app are going to bet? They can then project how much of its database may download and play during football season, perhaps on -115 spread bet? The DraftKings run line pricing is more in line with industry norms. As evidenced by the dumbed-down terminology “Who Will Win?” instead of saying “money line” — they’re appealing to the recreational sports bettor. It’s possible the spread bets for football meet -110 norms and the money lines are elevated as here with baseball.

Maybe also DK can see how many of the users know the lines aren’t good and simply don’t care. In a way, playing in GPP DFS contests is akin to setting money on fire. DK may have even obtained (purchased) e-mails from offshore sportsbooks to see which of its users have deposited offshore and will bet through DraftKings against certain lines. 

Point is, there’s a one-month window here during the dog days of summer/baseball when DraftKings can glean a whole lot of information in a contained environment before it really matters: that is, football season, when the MGM/Borgata app and the Caesars app and others are up and running on mobile as well.

In other words, they’re testing the upper limit. They can always come back down from these prices and probably few people will remember if they even knew in the first place. Most people not vacationing right now probably aren’t betting on the Giants-Diamondbacks.

Further, these lines aren’t being covered by the mainstream media. The major publishers will dive bomb when there’s a major event in the sports betting world, or perhaps just to offer a misinformed think piece about how legal sports betting will render collegiate sports extinct … but they’re just not getting into pricing issues.

Another number of note? Despite the FanDuel Sportsbook stumble out of the gate, it still did $3.5M handle in just nine days. During baseball season with a sprinkle of World Cup. We’ll know in a of couple weeks how they performed with handle/old over the month (in retail form only).

Sports betting inherently has an upper limit problem with revenue. DraftKings will mop up on parlays and teasers like every shop, but they’re looking to get more out of money line wagering here and in the future, evidently.

For most the folks reading here who will run away from this pricing and never come back, they probably expected you’d react that way. Best advice for everyone else, whether you’re shopping for a toaster, a car or a money line: shop around. 

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Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Draws $3.5M Handle in Short Order

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The FanDuel Sportsbook retail shop located at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey, yielded nearly $3.5 million in total wagers in just two weekends and one week since its July 14 opening, according to an Associated Press report. FanDuel officials confirmed the number to Sports Handle.

The New Jersey sportsbook’s opening marked a couple milestones, the first being the inaugural physical location for the DFS-focused operator FanDuel, its acquisition by Ireland-based bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) now completed. A second FanDuel sportsbook is coming in August at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.

The second big milestone was the launch of a sportsbook in an NFL team’s home state, better yet literally in its backyard. The Meadowlands Sports Complex is also home to MetLife Stadium, home field of the New York Giants, New York Jets and the Giants practice facility as well, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. But the auspicious launch from a handle perspective did not escape without some controversy.

FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Boasts Happy Handle After Nine Days In Business, Bodes Well for Football Season.

 

The backlash stemmed from FanDuel Sportsbook’s opening day pricing. A number of the baseball games on the July 14 menu were offered at 35-cent lines, in the range of surprising and absurd. Industry standard, at least in Nevada, is about 15- or 10-cent lines on baseball. For example, -140 on the favorite and +130 on the underdog.

Per ESPN Chalk’s David Purdum two days after launch, “Bettors should expect more traditional pricing moving forward at the new FanDuel sportsbook at the Meadowlands, where over $1 million was wagered over the weekend.”

Not a good break out of the gate, but it will be forgotten by most come September when the book remains wonderfully situated just eight miles from Midtown Manhattan. By that time the mobile platform will be available, as well, with FanDuel’s built-in clientele set to be activated and other market players having to start from scratch.

Incidentally $3.5M is on par with the first month of sportsbook revenue (rather, 17 days) by the three then-operational NJ sportsbooks in June, which included the William Hill sportsbook at Monmouth Park and the Borgata Race & Sports Book in Atlantic City. Ocean Resort had its book open three days to end June. Keep in mind, the New Jersey sports betting revenue numbers will include future wagers and to-be-decided props at the time of the bets, with winning tickets to be deducted at the time of redemption.

Company Coming.

Last week the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) accepted new sports wagering certificate applications from properties including Resorts Casinos, all Caesars Entertainment casinos (Harrah’s, Bally’s, Caesars) and the Golden Nugget.

The Harrah’s sportsbook is already under construction. Resorts, which has partnered with SB Tech and DraftKings, probably isn’t far behind. There may be as many as eight or nine sportsbooks live by football season and several of them with live mobile applications that will only increase handle and revenue.

It remains to be seen how much of that $3.5 million handle for Meadowlands falls into the “win” column, but it’s an auspicious start with a lesson learned during a period of relative calm, as far as the sports betting calendar goes.

On a Tour-de-Atlantic City sportsbooks and casino floors this past weekend, Sports Handle observed pretty full houses at Harrah’s, Tropicana, Borgata (the sportsbook and floor) and Ocean Resort. Likewise at the FanDuel Sportsbook on Sunday at noon, where more teller windows would have helped some deep lines.  

“I’m surprised how crowded it is here with the Hard Rock just opening,” a Harrah’s blackjack dealer said around 11 p.m. on Saturday night. “The Hard Rock looks nice. It is not the Taj Mahal [the space that Hard Rock now occupies].”

The Hard Rock Atlantic City is getting on the sports betting wagon, too, with some kind of partnership with the U.K.-based bet365 in the works.

A rising tide appears to be lifting all boats, with waves coming courtesy sports betting and some fresh starts.

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Another Wave of Casinos Apply to Join New Jersey Sports Betting Picture

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Wary of getting stuck on the sidelines for football season’s kickoff, five new applications arrived on Monday for a New Jersey sports betting license.
According to the Associated Press, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) received two applications for brick-and-mortar licenses and three for mobile sports wagering before a Monday deadline. DGE Director David Rebuck previously announced a deadline in connection with football season to allow state regulators enough time to evaluate applications.
While the DGE did not identify the applicants, CDC Gaming Reports has learned that the applications came from Caesars Entertainment — to offer retail wagering at Harrah’s and Bally’s in Atlantic City. In addition, Ceasars applied for licensed to offer mobile sports wagering at all three of its Atlantic City properties, the other being Caesars Atlantic City, which would be “serviced” by the adjacent Bally’s. The other identified applicant is Golden Nugget, which applied for both retail and mobile wagering.
New Jersey Sports Betting Scene Set to Add Ceasars Entertainment Properties, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, All Looking to Get Up and Running Before Football Season
nj sportsbook at harrahs and other caesars properties for atlantic city new jersey sports betting
The remaining applicants likely came from a pool of Hard Rock Atlantic City (seeking to partner in some way with bet365), Tropicana, Resorts Casino or Freehold Raceway.
“I fully expect that by Aug. 1 we will see additional properties up and running,” Rebuck said.
The application fee for the sports wagering certificate is $100,000 and there’s a five-digit difference in tax rate on sports wagering revenue: revenue derived from in-person wagering is taxed by the state at 8.5 percent while mobile wagering faces a 13 percent tax.
We know a bit about the Golden Nugget’s sports betting plans. Shortly before the Supreme Court struck down the federal law allowing this sports betting land rush, Churchill Downs Incorporated and Golden Nugget Atlantic City announced a partnership to offer sports betting and online gaming markets.
Potential licensees yet to apply will not entirely miss the boat for the college football and NFL seasons: the DGE will just not make any promise to give a rubber stamp before kickoff or any week in particular.
So far in NJ sports betting, Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino have sportsbooks up and running with operations managed by William Hill; also the Borgata, owned and operated by MGM, went live on June 14 like Monmouth Park. And this past Saturday, Meadowlands Racetrack in northern New Jersey cut a ribbon, introducing the first FanDuel Sportsbook.
[Also See: Odds Shift in Race for Operator Dominance in Legal U.S. Sports Betting Market]
Revenue for operators and the state so far has been pretty good. Through just 17 days of operations in June Monmouth and Borgata plus three days at Ocean, the total handle registered $16.4 million with a $3.5M win by the books (on a cash basis that counts futures wagers as revenue at the time of the wager), with $293,000 revenue yielded by the state. The FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands, pricing controversy aside at its debut, saw over $1 million in wagers in its first weekend.
So far no facility has rolled out mobile wagering, but that is expected to happen in the coming days.
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FanDuel Sportsbook Launch is Another Legal Sports Betting Milestone

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The metamorphosis from daily fantasy to sports betting operator became complete on Saturday when the FanDuel Sportsbook launched at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on the same premises as MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and Jets. FanDuel will remain in the DFS business, but this new sports betting opportunity in the U.S. is much bigger with the vast majority of the market yet to be captured.
A nervous excitement pulsed through the recently-remodeled Victory Sports Bar & Club where 10 ticket windows were staffed by employees wearing collared shirts emblazoned with a FanDuel Sportsbook patch. Some of the employees at the New Jersey sportsbook are brand new hires who received about two weeks of intensive training prior to Saturday.
“I was actually able to sleep last night,” Meadowlands Racetrack General Manager Jason Settlemoir said before the facility opened. “The first thing I do in the morning is turn the TV on and I saw ‘FanDuel Sportsbook set to open’ up at Meadowlands Racetrack. When I came in it was everything I envisioned for this part of it, so I’m excited and ready to go.”
FanDuel Sportsbook Launches at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey On Same Grounds as Giants and Jets’ MetLife Stadium and Only 8 Miles From New York City

Executives and officials on hand for the occasion included Matthew King, appointed CEO of FanDuel in November 2017; also lawmakers Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29th District), Senate President Pro Tempore, and Assembly Member Ralph Caputo (D-28th District), a co-sponsor of the bill that legalized sports wagering in the state.
These, and other officials, offered remarks from a podium at the front of the house about an hour before the sportsbook opened to the public.
“We have a great opportunity here in the State of New Jersey to preserve and create jobs and provide dollars for vital programs that our citizens needs,” Caputo said from the lectern. “This is an economic shot in the arm. And this will be ongoing revenue — not a one shot deal.”
The deal began exactly one month ago on June 14 when Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. became the first sportsbook to open, under the direction of operator William Hill. The MGM-owned Borgata began taking bets shortly thereafter in Atlantic City. Together those two properties (with some help from three days of wagering at Ocean Resort, also operated by William Hill), generated $3.4 million in gross revenue (on a cash basis accounting method). New Jersey collected $293,000 for the state.
This all comes after New Jersey won its Supreme Court case Murphy v NCAA in May against the NCAA and major pro sports leagues. The two parties together had blocked efforts to legalize for a decade under the now-extinct federal law banning sports wagering outside Nevada, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
“[Legal sports betting] is going to make something that’s been in the shadows and taking place illegally, and make it legal,” said Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeff Gural.

Resources and Training From Paddy Power Betfair, and Their Selection as a Partner

The Meadowland has been preparing for this moment for a while. So has FanDuel, whose acquisition by the powerful Ireland-based bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) was completed just this past week.
PPB has been instrumental in preparing the FanDuel Sportsbook for launch but FanDuel serves as the face of the collective operation. The abundance of signage around the property makes that clear. The sportsbook will be undergoing an expansion and remodeling before football season that will increase the number of ticket windows, televisions and more.
“The betting software is good, it’s simple, quick and accurate,” one ticket writer said. “I like it. “ But no doubt there are some jitters. One employee who booked a $500 wager was “almost shaking,” he told a colleague.
“We’re leveraging the entire global resource base,” FanDuel CEO Matt King told Sports Handle, regarding the collaboration between FanDuel and PPB. “We have their expertise helping to build the mobile app. We’re also using their pricing and their risk-management. And what that means for fans is that we’re going to be able to offer more markets, more bet types than really anybody else out there.”
King is mindful that while the U.S. sports betting opportunity is tremendous, the competition for market share will be fierce. FanDuel beat fellow DFS giant DraftKings to the initial punch, but DraftKings is in the game too as they partnered with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, which is expected to begin operations before football season.
“This is going to be a very competitive market,” King said. “We think that we’re in a great position because The FanDuel Group is the largest online gaming operator by almost a factor of two. And we think that’s an incredibly powerful position when coupled with the resources we have with Paddy Power behind us.”
Speaking of Paddy Power, there are questions around the industry about why U.S.-based sportsbook operators appear to be idling as European companies make inroads in the U.S. market.
“We put out a request for proposals and received seven or eight,” Gural said of their selection of PPB/FanDuel. “Mostly from abroad.” He said the process of choosing their partner, which has now formed the FanDuel Group, took about a month.

Engaging Clients and Fans Online and in Retail.

One patron at the sportsbook came from Philadelphia just to take in the scene. He didn’t realize until he got there that this was a FanDuel sportsbook.
“Oh really?” he asked. “I think it’s good business, especially in this area. You’d think that’s the logical step for [FanDuel]. They kind of made DFS legal, so once legalized, it’s easier for them jump into this.”
“I don’t even know what I’m wagering today,” said his friend, who hails from Garfield, about nine miles north of the Meadowlands in New Jersey. “I just want to see what the similarities are here to Las Vegas, see what the lines are like. I might play some World Cup.”
Another open question is how the leagues will embrace legal sports betting, or create distance from it. The leagues have been pushing for a controversial “integrity fee” or “royalty,” in which they would take a percentage off the top of all wagers booked legally in states that would grant them such a request. But so far no state has imposed such a cost upon its licensed operators.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is in a unique position given its proximity to an NFL stadium, MetLife. ESPN’s David Purdum reported that there has been talk about a shuttle between the stadium and the sportsbook.
“We’re deep in the conversation of how this is going to work on a number of fronts,” King said. “We’re looking forward to being great partners in and around the area.”
On the digital front, FanDuel — which has operated exclusively online until Saturday — is close to introducing its online sportsbook product and mobile app.
“We’re weeks away from launching,” King said. “Obviously it’s important we do that with the regulators, so we’ve had people furiously working on it for more than six months, and we’re getting very close.”
Mississippi sports betting and West Virginia sports betting will be next to move. Both states are preparing operators to open up shop before football season. FanDuel also secured a partnership The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, which is one the Mountain State’s five licensed properties gearing up.
The U.S sports betting opportunity is vast, and the opportunity and experience in each state and venue will be at least a little bit unique. And ever changing.
“Greenbrier will be a bit different because they don’t have a facility quite like this,” King said. “It will be interesting to see in a lot of casinos that don’t historically have sportsbooks, how we end up outfitting them and what’s the right retail experience. There’s also going to be additional technology like self-service betting terminals that will coming out. So you’re going to see an evolution of our retail format over time.”
Indeed, the evolution has only just begun.
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Happy Anniversary! First Month of New Jersey Sports Betting In The Books

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Saturday will mark one month since New Jersey sports betting began in the Garden State, and the state has plenty of reason to celebrate the past month and look forward to the months and years ahead.
Governor Phil Murphy placed the state’s first official bet at Monmouth Park Sportsbook on June 14 as cameras clicked and a big crowd watched. Ninety minutes south, NBA legend Dr. J placed the first sports bet at the Borgata Race & Sportsbook in Atlantic City. Both venues claimed a first – Monmouth Park was the first New Jersey racetrack to accept a sports bet and the Borgata was the first New Jersey casino to do the same.
In the first month, there have been some key changes at Monmouth Park to accommodate the flow of sports bettors. The William Hill-run sportsbook had six teller windows at launch, which didn’t turn out to be enough: 15 additional windows have been added, in addition to 50 high-definition televisions, food carts, chairs and tables, in the grandstand area at the racetrack.
To Accommodate NJ Sports Betting Interest At Monmouth Park, The Facility Has Transformed the Grandstand
“That was a dead grandstand area,” said Tom Luicci, media manager for Monmouth Park. “If you’re facing the track, it’s on the far left side and now all of a sudden it’s probably the most vibrant area on the track. … It’s like a whole community that just sprung up out of a desert area.”
Luicci also said that the track has accommodated sports fans by opening its gates early — 8 a.m. vs. the traditional 11-11:30 a.m. opening times for horse racing — during the World Cup, so fans could place bets and watch games.
Similar scenes have likely been playing out at other venues. And there’s plenty of glory and goodwill – and money, it turns out, to be shared around the state.
“The initial sports wagering results illustrates the popularity among patrons and the potential of this new revenue stream for New Jersey operators,” said DGE Deputy Chief of financial investigations Christopher Glaum. “The Division anticipates continued revenue growth in future months as each of the state’s remaining 11 eligible sports wagering operators determines when and how they will seek to enter the marketplace.”

Maybe 14 Is New Jersey’s Lucky Number: PASPA Overturned May 14, NJ Sports Betting Opened June 14, and Meadowlands Will Take First Bets July on 14.

After nearly a decade of legal wrangling, New Jersey finally won the right for it – and every other state in the nation – to offer sports betting when the Supreme Court issued its decision on May 14, striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in its Murphy v. NCAA decision.

Governor Phil Murphy placing the first legal sports wager in New Jersey at Monmouth Park.
Governor Phil Murphy placing the first legal sports wager in New Jersey at Monmouth Park.

The 14th has become an auspicious date for New Jersey since. It was on June 14 that Monmouth Park and the Borgata took those first sports bets, and it will be on July 14 that the Meadowlands, just over the border from New York City, will open for sports betting.
If the initial numbers are any indication, the Meadowlands should be in for some good business. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released numbers from the first 17 days of sports betting at three locations (though the Ocean Resort didn’t open until June 28, so most of the money in the report flowed through Monmouth and the Borgata), they revealed a healthy interest in sports betting.
As in Delaware sports betting, New Jersey is using a cash method of accounting, not the accrual method used in Nevada. With that understanding, the sportsbooks generated in a collective $3,458,688 gross revenue, producing $293,863 in tax revenue for the state of New Jersey. That’s based on a total handle of $16.4 million from June 14-30.
The nearly $300,000 for New Jersey’s coffers is based on an 8.5 percent tax rate on operators’ sports wagering revenue. Considering that the state set the tax for mobile sports betting at 13 percent, it stands to bring in even more once mobile wagering is online, and certainly once more properties begin operations in the coming months. Those expected to do so include the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and the Golden Nugget.
Several properties are planning to debut mobile platforms later this summer and bettors in the state of New Jersey will be able to sign up for an account remotely.

Current New Jersey Sportsbooks are Bare Bones, But Operators Have Plans for More Posh Surroundings, Hopefully in Time for Football Season. 

As sports betting grows in New Jersey, so, too, will its sportsbooks. Monmouth Park, the Borgata and Ocean Resort all opened with what they called “temporary” sportsbooks. 
Essentially, there’s betting windows, odds boards and a few televisions in Spartan surroundings. The idea was to get up and running as soon as possible, and based on the numbers, all of the sportsbooks bet right – bettors were more interested in being able to place bets than needing the creature comforts of a Las Vegas-style sportsbook. But during the first month, and beyond, all three properties have continued work on more elaborate sportsbooks, and hope to have those open by the start of football season.
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Three New Jersey Sportsbooks Collects $3.4M in First Half-Month

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New Jersey sports betting went live on June 14 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport and at the MGM-owned Borgata Resort Casino in Atlantic City, and the first month of operations has shown that the state’s costly fight for legal sports betting will be well worth with it.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on Thursday released the first batch of sports betting revenue figures, which are based on a cash method of accounting, not on an accrual method as in Nevada, showing the three separate locations operating in June took in a collective $3,458,688, producing $293,863 in tax revenue for the state of New Jersey. That’s based on a total handle of $16.4 million across the same properties.
Those figures come with an 8.5 percent tax rate. Mobile sports wagering tax rate is 13 percent, which is likely to begin at a few properties set to roll out their apps/online platforms in the coming weeks. Anyone in state can set up an account remotely and deposit without having to register in person at a licensee.
New Jersey Sports Betting Numbers and Handle From First Weeks of Live Operations Show Big Win.
nj sports betting numbers handle for june from monmouth park sportsbook
Keep in mind the $3.4 million is based on a cash method of accounting, which counts as revenue wagers on futures events such as the World Cup and Super Bowl winner.
According to the DGE, “$1.2 million in gross revenue was reported from Completed Events, which approximates accrual basis revenue that can be compared to the win reported of Nevada casinos.”
The total handle across the three locations was $16.4 million. 
Here’s more of the breakdown:

Also keep in mind that Ocean Resort, a property formerly known as Revel, only opened on June 28, meaning it produced its handle and hold in three days.
People had a nice time betting on baseball! It represents $10.1 million of the $16.4 million in handle:

Further consider that mobile wagering has not yet begun, which will be coming soon through William Hill and the Borgata. Sources say that the MGM-owned Borgata’s mobile app will be introduced next week.
These numbers are pretty, pretty good, considering only baseball and soccer events (with some other events such as UFC 226) were occurring during this half-month stretch.
Welcome to the game, New Jersey, and Garden State sports bettors.
This is story is developing and will be updated.
[Also See: What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch]
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Paddy Power Completes FanDuel Acquisition, Forms ‘FanDuel Group’

The post Paddy Power Completes FanDuel Acquisition, Forms ‘FanDuel Group’ appeared first on SportsHandle.
Just in time for Saturday’s grand opening of sports wagering at The FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands in northern New Jersey, Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) and FanDuel confirmed today that they have closed their previously announced merger. The new entity in the U.S. will be officially known as FanDuel Group, the company said.
The Meadowlands deal, in which FanDuel will operate and risk manage the sportsbook, marks FanDuel’s, first foray into Nevada-style, single-team sport betting. FanDuel is generally regarded as the number two Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) outlet, trailing only DraftKings.
The combination creates the largest online sports destination in the United States, according to the company. FanDuel will also operate The Meadowlands mobile sports betting operation in New Jersey when regulators approve their app and online platform.
FanDuel Sportsbook Set to go Live at Meadowlands Racetrack as Paddy Power Betfair Completes Merger of FanDuel, Combining Operations

the fanduel sportsbook's victory sports bar and club
Inside the Victory Sports Bar & Club at the Meadowlands Racetrack

PPB under its Betfair US umbrella and the FanDuel brand name, will also operate at Tioga Downs in New York, subject to enabling legislation in the Empire State, which may come in early 2019. There also remains the possibility that Tioga Downs and three other commercial casinos in New York can move forward with sports betting under a 2013 law. State regulators indicated they are crafting rules in accordance with that law but it’s as yet unknown if the casinos will get a green light.
Jeff Gural is owner/operator of both Tioga Downs and Meadowlands Racetrack. Tioga Downs has a casino element. The Meadowlands, near New York City, only operates as a racetrack.
[Also See: What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch]
FanDuel has also partnered with The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia to provide sports betting services, expected to be available in late August or early September.
FanDuel CEO Matt King will serve as CEO of the newly-combined company and Betfair US. CEO Kip Levin will become President and COO, and remain in his role as CEO of TVG. TVG is a horseracing television network with about 45 million subscribers via cable, satellite systems and online. Paul Rushton, currently Commercial Finance Director of Paddy Power Betfair, will become the CFO of FanDuel Group.
The newly combined business says it will have a presence across 45 states, 8 million customers, and $265 million in annual revenue. As of now, the company is continuing operations at DRAFT, the distant number three DFS company, purchased by PPB in May of 2017.
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What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch

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The New Jersey sports betting scene will gain a new player Saturday morning when the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., introduces the FanDuel Sportsbook at Victory Sports Bar & Club in a soft launch.
The sportsbook will open at 9:30 a.m. for dignitaries and then to the general public at 11 a.m. “There will be 27 television screens and 10 sports betting stations,” FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessey said in an email Tuesday. “It features high-top tables, a VIP area, leaning rails, bar stools, sofas, and dining chairs.”
Patrons will be able to wager on baseball, bet futures and proposition wagers on football, wager on Wimbledon and on the World Cup finals taking place on Sunday night between France and the winner of Wednesday’s England-Croatia match. The sportsbook’s opening is significant for a number of reasons, especially those related to geography.
FanDuel Sportsbook Will Launch at Meadowlands Racetrack as New Jersey Sports Betting Scene Plants a Flag a Short Trip From New York.

the fanduel sportsbook's victory sports bar and club
Inside the Victory Sports Bar & Club.

Before we go into geography, one major milestone here is the official introduction of a heretofore daily fantasy sports operator into the legal U.S. sports betting market.
Either the 1B or 1A to DraftKings in the daily fantasy business, while DraftKings has also landed a couple partnerships, FanDuel’s foray will come first.
Tuesday, Meadowlands COO/general manager Jason Settlemoir confirmed in a conversation with Sports Handle that is indeed the FanDuel Sportsbook — and will not be branded in any way by the powerful Ireland-based bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB, or Betfair US), which in May announced its (pending) acquisition of FanDuel and the combining of their operations.
“There will be 10 towers or windows with live tellers for sports betting, plus spots for parimutuel horse racing,” Settlemoir said of the physical setup of the facility, which is temporary for now and will expand by the end of August. “And two self-service terminals in there for parimutuel as well,” he added.
Settlemoir would not speak to PPB’s and FanDuel’s discussions on branding, but noted PPB’s sizable investment in FanDuel and of the company’s value.
“From an operator standpoint,  the FanDuel name is totally recognizable within sports to people here in the United States,” he said.

Proximity to New York City — and Proximity to an NFL Stadium in the U.S. Unlike Ever Before.

As for geography, the Meadowlands is located in a very advantageous spot in the swamps of Jersey.
“We’re only eight miles away [from midtown Manhattan], and that really makes us, at this point in time, the only game in the area where you can make a legal sports bet,” Settlemoir said. “This is exciting and a welcome opportunity for us here.”
Previously, Jeff Gural, chairman of New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC and Tioga Downs LLC, expressed his thrill with the New York legislature’s failure to pass a bill legalizing sports wagering before the close of its session on June 20.
“New York did me such a favor by not passing sports betting,” Gural told the Associated Press in June. “That leaves me the entirety of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County. There are 15 million people that live within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the Meadowlands. They gave me a tremendous gift.”
As as a result, the Meadowlands will stand alone in the highly-populated area at least through the football seasons and likely through March Madness in 2019.
Also in the Meadowlands’ backyard — literally — is MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, roughly 0.4 miles away.
Another twist is that barring any oversight here, New Jersey will become the first state in which sports wagering is legal to host a regular season NFL game. While the Oakland and to-be Las Vegas Raiders have broken ground on their Nevada stadium, the Raiders will play at least one more season in California.
 

fanduel sportsbook at the meadowlands racetrack location
Alternatively, about a 9-minute walk.

For our younger and/or non-northeastern readers, MetLife Stadium was formerly Giants Stadium and briefly the New Meadowlands Stadium when it opened in 2010. Both the stadium and the Meadowlands Racetrack are part of The Meadowlands Sports Complex.
As recently as December 2017, the NFL argued publicly and in the United States Supreme Court that sports wagering was a threat to the integrity of, and a scourge on their game. Meanwhile the league also held regular season contests in London, where there’s sports betting kiosks on nearly every street corner.
The NFL has since “evolved” on sports betting, put simply. Will the Giants and Jets get the league’s blessing to allow advertising of or to promote the Meadowlands sportsbook at their games?
[Also See: What Happens When Everyone Bets the Home Team?]
Promotions or events would make a lot of sense, maybe informational booths during tailgating parties or game day giveaways. Settlemoir indicated that the Meadowlands is not ready to make any such announcements on that front.
“Mr. Gural and the FanDuel and Betfair personnel management have a great relationship with the guys at the stadium,” he said. “And they’re currently working with the Jets and Giants ownership, and we’ll have to see how that goes, and where we go from here.”

How the FanDuel Sportsbook Will Grow.

First of all, Meadowlands/FanDuel-branded mobile sports wagering is in works. As of July 11, as permitted by the enabling legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy, any licensed operator may allow mobile betting. So far, none are prepared to do so, which may just mean that the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has not signed off on their software.
“We’re looking to try to roll that out by football season,” Settlemoir said.
Once it’s live, anyone located in the state — even temporarily, hey New Yorkers — will be able to establish an account deposit remotely via the app or online, based on our understanding of New Jersey’s bill.
And the FanDuel physical sportsbook space will expand as well.
“We’re still working on the exact square footage but it will have a much larger footprint by NFL season,” Hennessy explained. “We have plans for 65 television screens and 15 sports betting stations, making the retail location the ideal place to place bets for the upcoming NFL season and for the MLB playoffs. “
It’s not all about sports betting at the Meadowlands, though. They recognize sports betting as a distinct opportunity, but also one to introduce a new and probably younger crowd to harness or horse racing.
As for numbers, the facility is expecting big crowd on a Saturday that coincides with Meadowlands Pace Night — one of the biggest racing nights on the calendar, which Settlemoir says typically draws about 12,000-15,000 visitors.
“Hopefully the sportsbook will be able to help the horse racing side as well, exposing a completely different demographic,” he said. “People that bet sports coming here and being able to see horse racing, and hopefully we’ll see some crossover.”
The post What to Expect at the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.