BetMGM, BetRivers Go Live in Virginia

State of Virginia Made out of Money With Sportsbook Background
Online sports bettors in Virginia now have four operators to choose from.

FanDuel was the first to launch in Virginia last Thursday. DraftKings followed on Sunday, just hours before the NFL’s Conference championship games. This week, two more online sportsbooks followed with BetMGM and BetRivers launching on Wednesday, just in time for next weekend’s Super Bowl LV game.

When Virginia sports betting was legalized, the state agreed to cap the number of sports betting operators to 12 after receiving a total of 25 applications for license. The General Assembly tasked the Virginia Lottery to screen the applicants and with four already live, that means there are 8 on the way.

Third Virginia Sports Betting Operator

BetMGM became the third Virginia sports betting operator after getting its temporary permit to accept wagers last Sunday. The operator, which is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain Plc. now has presence in a total of 12 states, including 10 with online sportsbooks. As part of its latest offering, Virginia bettors will get access to the MGM Resorts M Life Rewards Program.

The Roar Digital operated sportsbook recently announced a partnership with Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. The partners plan to open a retail sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Partnership With Rivers Casino

BetRivers meanwhile, received approval to launch Virginia sports betting on Tuesday. After going live on Wednesday, BetRivers now has a total of 8 mobile states. The company has a deal for market access via a new casino which Portsmouth voters approved in last November’s vote. BetRivers is one of three operators partnered with a Virginia casino.

Caesars/William Hill (Danville) and Hard Rock (Bristol) are the other two Virginia sports betting operators partnered with a casino. When all is said and done, the state will have a total of five land-based casinos. However, the cities of Norfolk and Richmond, who have sold land and have agreed to let the Pamunkey Indian Tribe build and operate a casino, have not yet announced the names of the would be operators.

Flutter To Drop $4.18B For Additional 32.7% Stake in FanDuel

Hundred Dollar Bills
Flutter increased its stake in sportsbook operator FanDuel, buying 37.2% of the company for a sum of $4.18B.

The consideration is expected to be satisfied through a combination of a $2.088B cash payment and the issuance of approximately 11.7M new Flutter shares directly to Fastball. According to Flutter, the cash portion of the agreement will be funded through cash on the balance sheet and an equity placing to raise an additional 1.1B pounds.

FOX Corporation would participate in the capital raising and in return, the US-based FOX Sports , which is owned by FOX Corporation, will be given an option to buy 18.5% of FanDuel in July 2021.

Said Flutter CEO Peter Jackson in a statement:

“Flutter’s initial acquisition of a controlling stake in FanDuel in 2018 has been transformational for the shape of the Group. Our number one position in the crucial U.S. market is built on many of the assets we acquired through that transaction, supported by the broader Group’s capabilities. Our intention has always been to increase our stake in the business and I’m delighted to be able to do so earlier than originally planned and at a discount to its closest peer.”

Terminating Fastball’s Interest in FOX Bet

Flutter, which owns European iGaming properties Paddy Power, Betfair, and Poker Stars, acquired 57.8% of FanDuel in 2018. With the latest agreement, it will now own 95% of the top betting company in the United States and terminate Fastball’s economic interest in the online sports betting platform FOX Bet.

The deal would simplify the position of FOX Bet, in which Fastball was given an interest as part of Flutter’s merger with the Star Group of Canada in 2019. According to Flutter, the union created one of the largest online betting and gaming operator in the business.

Attractive American Scene

Flutter Entertainment said that this transaction will increase its exposure in the U.S. market materially. It described the American scene as the “most attractive” sector opportunity there is today.

The United States is viewed as the next big market in sports betting and it has led to big partnerships involving European companies. Last September, Caesars Entertainment purchased London-based William Hill for $3.9B.

Memphis Grizzlies Enter Into Sports Betting Partnership With FanDuel

Odds Board and Money
With sports betting now legal in Tennessee, the Memphis Grizzlies were quick to capitalize by signing its first ever sports betting deal with US online sportsbook FanDuel. On the other side of the fence, the Grizzlies are also the first NBA team that FanDuel has partnered with.

Said FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffenspberger:

“As we expand our market-leading sportsbook into Tennessee, partnering with the Grizzlies was a no-brainer given the team’s popularity and long-standing success, as well as their shared mindset of being absurdly fan-focused. We are incredibly excited to collaborate with the Grizzlies as we bring unique promotions, product innovation, and engaging online experiences to Grizzlies fans and Tennessee sports fans alike.”

For their part, the Grizzlies made a statement via President Jason Wexler:

“We are thrilled to have FanDuel as our first sports betting marketing partner and as our exclusive daily fantasy partner. Grizzlies fans are among the most passionate in the NBA, and we are looking forward to helping them find new ways to access their sports fandom. FanDuel has been an excellent partner in building a program that will showcase why they are one of the best sportsbooks for Grizzlies fans.”

Multi-Year Agreement

Under the multi-year agreement, FanDuel will get the permission to use official Grizzlies marks and logos from them to use across FanDuel’s online sports offerings and daily fantasy products. Meanwhile, FanDuel’s logo will be part of the Grizzlies’ marketing assets including the in-arena signage at the FedEx Forum. Likewise, FanDuel will be able to promote its sports betting offerings to fans directly via the Grizzlies’ radio, TV, and digital marketing platforms.

FanDuel will also present the Grizzlies’ home and away television broadcast with multiple integrations to improve the experience for the fans who choose to watch the game on television in the comfort of their homes. In addition, the Grizzlies and FanDuel plan to offer several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to FanDuels clients.

Tennessee Legal Sports Betting Goes Live

The announcement comes a day after legal Tennessee sports betting went live. Sports betting was legalized in the Volunteer state in the spring of 2019. The law took effect last November 1st without the signature of Governor Bill Lee who at that time did not believe that legal Tennessee sports betting would be of the best interest of the state.

After several months of ironing out the policies, online sports betting is now live in Tennessee. The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has so far approved four online sportsbooks to operate in the state. These are DraftKings, BetMGM, Action247, and FanDuel. Only online sports betting is currently legal in Tennessee and brick and mortar sports betting shops are not allowed.