FanDuel Brand Takes Startling New Direction, Announces New Jersey Online Casino

Posted on: July 19, 2018, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: July 19, 2018, 09:24h.

The FanDuel Group has announced its intention to launch an online casino in New Jersey in partnership with the Golden Nugget, as well as an internet sports betting platform with the Meadowlands racetrack, later this year.

FanDuel Casino
FanDuel once spent a lot of time and money convincing the world it did not offer gambling, but its new management has no qualms about embracing casino games. (Image: FanDuel)

The online sports betting platform was anticipated — FanDuel recently completed its merger with Betfair US, offering parent company Paddy Power Betfair an inroad into the fledgling US sports betting market using FanDuel’s stateside brand recognition.

Within days of the completion, the world’s first FanDuel retail betting was launched at the Meadowlands, hearlding a completely new direction for the FanDuel story.

But while the synergy between sports betting and DFS is clear, an online casino is a more jarring departure for a brand that has previously rejected associations with gambling.

DFS Debate

FanDuel spent much of 2015 and 2016 lobbying state legislatures in a bid to convince lawmakers that its DFS offering did not amount to gambling because it was a game of skill. Now, it will embrace gambling in its purest form, offering online slots, roulette, and blackjack to the residents of New Jersey.

The merger of Betfair US and FanDuel created the FanDuel Group, which already operates a New Jersey online casino in partnership with the Golden Nugget, Betfair Casino NJ.

The enlarged group’s assets also include FanDuel’s market-leading DFS product and TVG, the leading horseracing TV network in the US.

It’s currently unclear whether the FanDuel casino will be a rebrand of the existing Betfair Casino, or a new, standalone platform. In June, Betfair US told Legal Sports Report that FanDuel would likely become the combined company’s primary US brand and that a rebrand of the Betfair casino was “something we’re considering.”

Online Sports Book Poised

In terms of mobile sports betting, land-based facilities that have applied for licensing are still awaiting authorization from New Jersey regulators — which is expected to be imminent — and are hoping to be up and running by the start of the NFL season.

GAN CEO Dermot Smurfit’s company is a technology partner on the FanDuel online sports book. He said in an official announcement on Wednesday that “online sports betting ‘go-live’ preparations for FanDuel” were “well-advanced.”

In the same press release, GAN said that it is working on integrating its own platform with elements from IGT’s sports platform and Betfair’s pricing, trading and risk management technology, all topped off with a user interface designed for the US customer by the FanDuel team.