FanDuel, one of the biggest U.S. sports betting operators, will be offering sports fans the opportunity to place bets on a sporting event while the event is occurring. They can place their bets simultaneously, while watching the game on a mobile app. The app is being developed as a result of a FanDuel agreement with the Swiss Sportrader AG.

The new service rolled out last week in New Jersey where FanDuel controls the largest market share of all sportsbooks. In a deal that highlights how media and the sports bettingmarket can collaborate, sports fans can now place a bet from their mobile device during the livestream of the game.

FanDuel

FanDuel began its life as a daily fantasy sports provider. It was founded in 2009 and ever since, has been in direct competition with the United States’ other major DFS providers. FanDuel was struggling to survive when, in May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that states could legislate sports betting in their jurisdictions. Both FanDuel and DraftKings added sports betting to their itinerary of options and they are currently the two major sportsbooks in America.

Paddy Power Betfair, one of the UK’s biggest gambling operators, acquired FanDuel in 2018. The goal was to have FanDuel operate as Paddy Power Betfair’s primary operating brand in the United States. Paddy Power Betfair contributed $158 million to merge the two company’s assets in the United States. Paddy Power Betfair now holds a 61% controlling state in the company and has the option to increase its stake over time. Assets which Paddy Power Betfair acquired include horse racing-oriented cable networks, TVG2 and TVG Network.

The first operation that the new company, FanDuel Group, launched was a sportsbook at the Medowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. That began shortly after sports betting started to operate in the state. FanDuel Group also scored deals with American leagues which allowed the operator to become the leagues’ “official gaming partner”.

The National Basketball Association and FanDuel group inked a deal that makes FanDuel the league’s partner. FanDuel now has access to official NBA betting data, logos and league marks which FanDuel can use on its sports betting platforms. FanDuel also has an agreement with the National Hockey League - FanDuel is the NHL’s official daily fantasy sports partner and is the official sports betting partner of the NHL.

FanDuel has expressed interested in pursuing partnerships with individual athletic teams. The operator signed a deal with the New Jersey Devils hockey team that will embed the FanDuel logo right in the ice in the team’s Prudential Center home rink. The FanDuel brand will also be integrated across social media and other digital platform through the Devils’ social media platforms. More FanDuel–team deals are expected in the near future.

New Service

Now FanDuel Group has become the first U.S. sports betting operator to offer live-sports broadcasts  on its website and mobile app. Odds will be displayed during the broadcasts and viewers will be able to place their wagers during the games.

Initially the service will be available for a limited number of events including some tennis and soccer games. However, FanDuel expects the service to expand rapidly. The company believes the option to simultaneously watch a live streaming  game and  wager on that game - all on the same platform - will draw more people who will be able to enjoy a more interactive sports viewing experience. 

According to Niall Connell, general manager of FanDuel Sportsbook, gambling interest has doubled and even tripled in Europe when odds are offered alongside live rights. “If you’re betting on something, you tend to want to watch the outcome of it,” Connell said. “It’d be a bit like betting on a horse race but not being able to see the actual race at all. Plus, a lot of this tennis content is matches that aren’t on terrestrial TV.”

Experience

In Nevada, casinos with sportsbooks have traditionally paired big screen TVs showing live sporting events with nearby betting windows. Putting the two in close proximity seems to be custom-made for mobile because it offers a venue for instant gratification. Bettors can bet on the outcome of the next punt in football, or the next point in tennis, and watch the bet play out seconds later.

Live streaming + betting offering are common in European markets and cover many different types of sports, from NBA games to English Premier league soccer. In Europe, video feeds have lower resolution and are smaller so that they don’t infringe on the rights of the media companies that pay for the full rights packages.

In the US, it’s more complicated for the leagues. All the premium content is already locked into long-term TV deals that were negotiated years ago, before sports gambling began to appear on the scene. Most observers believe that new broadcast deals will involve separate agreements with different media companies that can offer the live betting options. But for now, operators such as FanDuel will be limited in the live sports that they can offer.

Leagues

Prior to the May 2018 ruling that allowed states to legalize sports betting, the major leagues, including the NHL, the NFL, the NBA and the MLB opposed legalizing wagering on sporting events. They said that it would compromise the games and could lead to bribery and blackmail, among other game-compromising issues. But now that sports betting is a fait accompli, the leagues are trying to figure out how to make the most of the situation.

The deals that the leagues have made thus far with FanDuel, FanDuel’s main rival DraftKings and other casino operators will bring the leagues millions of dollars in added revenue. That’s enticing and the operators are trying to build up those relationships.

For now, FanDuel will start a live stream on tennis and European soccer and other operators will be watching. Connell said that the live stream on these sporting events is expected to double the number of bets on the games. In addition, fans will have the ability to watch 24/7. 

Financial terms of the agreement between FanDuel Group and Sportrader AG have not been disclosed.

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