Paddy Power Betfair eyes FanDuel acquisition

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The BBC reported that Paddy Power Betfair initiated negotiations after Monday saw the United States Supreme Court overturn a lower court decision in ruling as unconstitutional the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992.

The Supreme Court ruling did make sports wagering legal in New Jersey, which already had laws and regulations on the books authorizing the practice.

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Paddy Power Betfair also explained that the negotiations are centred around combining its existing operations with the local DFS operator, which already has a good presence in the county, in order to create a joint venture that would target the possibilities in the USA sports betting market.

Fantasy sports websites have been able to operate because they are considered to be games of skill rather than chance.

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While US states will have to draw up their own gambling laws, a process that could take years in some cases, the shift in the US landscape is expected to encourage British firms to seek takeovers or become targets themselves. Last year, the company bought a daily fantasy company, Draft.com, that has a far smaller footprint than either FanDuel or DraftKings, the two dominant players in the market.

Citing multiple sources close to the talks, Legal Sports Report said that although details of the mooted agreement are unknown, it is understood the value of the deal is some way below the $1bn (€844.6m) at which FanDuel was once valued. Platforms like FanDuel and competitor DraftKings allow users to build fantasy sports teams around the MLB, NBA, NHL, and National Football League teams, pay an entry fee and compete for cash prizes. The company operates through Online, Australia, Retail, and U.S. segments.

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"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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