Regulation

FanDuel, DraftKings Launch Online Gambling Products

Bet on it: More gambling is coming to consumers’ mobile devices, including via companies that provide fantasy sports betting, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision from earlier this year.

The latest development comes from fantasy sports betting site FanDuel. It has reportedly launched FanDuel Sportsbook, which offers online betting services for real sporting events — but only to consumers located in New Jersey, for now. Rival fantasy sports provider DraftKings previously launched its own online sportsbook about a month ago, before the start of the NFL season.

According to Fortune, which previewed the FanDuel sportsbook app, “it offers a variety of features, including seven different payment options, future betting lines and in-game wagering that allows users to bet on live games.”

A review of the app in NJ Online Gambling said that “FanDuel seems to have passed on million-dollar attention-grabbing schemes for its sportsbook, instead focusing on ease of use, especially where payment processing is concerned. While it doesn’t appear that FanDuel’s online sportsbook will share a wallet with its popular daily fantasy site, players should have no problem depositing and withdrawing funds.”

The launch of the app comes amid a shifting gambling culture in the United States, the result of a May decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a 1992 law passed by Congress that made it illegal for most states to legalize sports betting within their borders.

The decision came down 6-3, representing a victory for several states that would like to tap into sports gambling as a way to generate revenue and bring in tourism. New Jersey was the ringleader of the effort, though it did enlist support from 17 other states and three additional state governors. The federal prohibition on sports betting was backed by the NCAA, NFL and NBA.

Already, that decision has led to some moves by major players in the global gambling industry.

That includes MGM. Over the summer, it announced a deal to become the first sports gambling partner of the NBA. The deal, reportedly worth no less than $25 million and running for three years, provides proof that major sports leagues have overcome their reluctance to being officially associated with gambling, lest they lose the trust of consumers.

Beyond that, MGM is working with U.K.-based sports betting operator GVC Holdings on a 50-50 joint gambling venture. The goal is to “create a world-class sports betting and online gaming platform in the United States, well-positioned to engage in the new opportunities created by the recent Supreme Court decision” in overturning state sports gambling bans, MGM said in a press release.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court decision, both DraftKings and FanDuel faced pressure from regulators over business practices involving their core offerings. The two companies agreed to pay a combined $2.6 million as a settlement for unfair and deceptive practices affecting fantasy sports consumers.

Right before that, DraftKings and FanDuel abandoned a planned merger following a lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Between them, the two companies have 95 percent of daily fantasy sports, and the FTC had called for a preliminary injunction to prevent the companies from closing the deal while it conducted an internal review to determine if the merger was legal under antitrust law.

Now the two companies have expanded their gambling offerings — no doubt a foreshadowing of further activity in the wake of that Supreme Court ruling.

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