FanDuel Preparing for Online Horse Racing in Two US States
FanDuel has been quite busy over the past year. After sports betting was approved in the United States and individual states began offering services, FanDuel wasted no time in partnering with casinos across the nation to get started offering sports betting. The brand is known for their daily fantasy sports offering but quickly branched out to sports betting as well as horse racing. The brand was recently approved in California and Massachusetts to offer online horse racing, allowing the brand to branch out even further with their gaming offerings.
This month, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted to approve FanDuel with temporary approval to offer mobile betting on horse races. The vote was a unanimous one by the commission at 4 to 0. Suffolk Downs submitted the proposal to the commission as the brand’s racing partner. The app for mobile horse racing could be ready as soon as this January.
In Massachusetts, the state allows online horse betting as well as daily fantasy sports. There are no other online gambling options available. Earlier this year, legislation was proposed to allow online sports betting in the state, but it did not progress.
With the approval, it marks the second state to allow FanDuel to offer mobile horse race betting in the US. In late November, regulators in California approved the brand to offer the same services.
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Working on Horse Racing
In May of last year, Flutter acquired FanDuel. Flutter owns TVG, a horse racing broadcast network and betting provider. TVG already offers services in Massachusetts but is not super popular. Players are way more familiar with their FanDuel app than they are TVG. The FanDuel Racing app is actually built on the TVG platform.
The goal of Flutter is to see the new FanDuel app bringing in more racing bettors. The DFS customers of FanDuel would feel more comfortable placing bets in the horse racing market via the FanDuel brand than with the TVG brand, which is less familiar.
FanDuel is utilizing the horse racing industry in Massachusetts due to little online gaming options in the state. While they are approved in Massachusetts this month, they were approved in California one month prior.
Going back to July, FanDuel and TVG were able to secure a deal with the Breeder’s Cup. For 2019, the Santa Ana Park in California hosted the Breeder’s Cup. The betting handle increased for the event 12% from the previous year. This could be due to the FanDuel brand being associated with the event.
Soon after, FanDuel was given permission by the California Horse Racing Board to accept advanced deposit wagers via their racebook for TVG.
While FanDuel is building on the horse racing industry, it might end up being a lost cause. The horse racing market is not what it used to be. There does not seem to be a large fan base and there are even calls for horse racing to be banned by animal rights activists.
We have to go back over a decade to find a time when horse racing was booming. Big business rolled in within the industry back in 2003, as over $15 billion was wagered within the industry that year. However, it was soon after that the industry began its state of decline. Since 2013, the horse racing industry has seen a steady decline in revenues year after year.
The gaming landscape is changing. The younger generations have no interest in the horse racing industry, as there are plenty of more gambling options available.
We shall see in the coming months if FanDuel can create a revival of sorts for sports betting or if the industry is destined to continue to decrease in interest and revenues as time goes by.