Two of the largest daily fantasy sports operators have made a merger agreement. It was announced by both companies, on Friday, that DraftKings and FanDuel will be officially merging to establish an even larger piece of the market.
The merger is currently pending regulatory approval. The plan to have the deal closed by the second half of 2017. In the meantime, users are still able to wager and participate in the various fantasy sports. There were no agreement terms disclosed, but there are sources that informed ESPN that it is a 50-50 deal, between both operators. There will be one independent director with three seats for each company on the board. The merger will have Jason Robins (DraftKings CEO) as the new company’s chief executive officer, while Nigel Eccles (FanDuel CEO) will be the company’s chairman of the board.
There remains those that criticize legalizing sports betting in the US. They point to the possibility of gambling addictions, scandals, and harmful advertising. For now, a name for the new deal is unknown. They will hold a headquarters in Boston and New York. Robins released a statement saying, “We have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for our customers and this merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform. Joining forces will allow us to truly realize the potential of our vision, and as a combined company we will be able to accelerate the pace of innovation and bring a richer experience to our customers than we ever could have done separately.”
Eccles went on to add, “Being able to combine DraftKings and FanDuel presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry. While both companies have accomplished much already, this transaction will create a business that can offer a greater variety of offerings, appealing to new users, including the tens of millions of season-long fantasy players that haven’t yet tried our products.”