Optimistic Betfair Pleased With FanDuel’s Performance In NJ Sports Betting

Third-quarter revenue figures for Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) did not blow away the competition.

Frankly, they might not have even led company higher-ups to exchange high-fives in between fist pumps.

That is not to say PPB did not fare well.

According to the company’s earnings call last week, PPB revenues in the third quarter, excluding losses within its US sports betting business, reflected a 12 percent increase, though earnings remained flat.

Despite the report signifying a slight step backward, PPB maintains a rosy outlook.

After all, company CEO Peter Jackson said, PPB has the potential to make waves in the ever-expanding world of legalized wagering in the US, particularly in New Jersey, where FanDuel Sportsbook has established itself as a power in the NJ sports betting industry.

“This gives us continued confidence that we’re well positioned to win further market share,” Jackson said during the earnings call. “In the US, Q3 was an exciting period. We saw good momentum in each of our existing businesses and the successful launch of FanDuel sportsbook. The start of the NFL season is the key customer acquisition opportunity for fantasy sports each year, and we’ve been very pleased of our performance this year.”

FanDuel becoming a Betfair jewel

Jackson noted that early indicators in New Jersey point to “both the latent market opportunity and our strong relative positioning.”

Underlying growth in US revenues, he added, have stemmed from new game formats and an initiative to attract recreational bettors. Additionally, the execution of promotions and marketing have helped PPB become a major sports betting player.

Despite mobile NJ sports betting products growing from three products to eight in October, Jackson remains confident in PPB’s standing.

Particularly in the retail aspect, an area in which FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack has led the industry each month since opening in July. Paddy Power Betfair acquired FanDuel just before debuting in the NJ sports betting industry.

“We shared some snippets on that today as we talked about the amounts of staking that we’re seeing in our retail shop, up to sort of $1.5 million a day at the moment, and we’re very proud of that,” Jackson said. “I think it must be one of the busiest shops in the world. But our online business is bigger.

“So yeah, I think the market may well have grown into October, it’s a very busy month in the U.S., but our business has as well. So I think we’re very pleased with our positioning, and I can’t comment on what other people are doing, but our strategy seems to be working.”

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Still room to grow in NJ sports betting

Jackson conceded that PPB’s success in New Jersey certainly benefited from a packed sports schedule in October. The NFL was in full swing, the MLB postseason took center stage, and the NBA opened its season.

October “is a big month for sports in the US and so we would have expected a degree of step up,” Jackson said. “But I think, this is going to be a submaturity of the market and it’s going to take some time before it’s fully mature. I mean, we’ve got some exciting plans, what we do with the Meadowlands.”

To become a leading sports betting power, Jackson mentioned, PPB needs to boast leading propositions for customers.

Jackson said that is exactly what has transpired in New Jersey, via “FanDuel’s market-leading app, with a broadest range of betting markets, competitive pricing, and generous headline promotions.”

From fantasy sports to sports betting

Paddy Power Betfair continues working toward building its customer base, Jackson said. New Jersey trends indicate the value of FanDuel’s daily fantasy sports presence.

That includes “players who’ve been active with FanDuel recently, and perhaps more encouragingly, with respect to dormant customers re-engaging with the brand.”

Added Jackson:

“We’re not going to give the breakdowns, but it clearly gives us a real advantage in the market.”

FanDuel alone has inspired enthusiasm for PPB’s future. When comparing expected first-year revenues with the acquisition cost, Jackson said: “We’re very happy with those unit economics.”

PPB ready to go all-in

Certainly, Paddy Power Betfair envisions a future featuring more robust revenue figures.

In order to reach such heights, Jackson said, PPB will need to continue “substantial investment” in promotions and marketing. Jackson added PPB will not be shy about investing. “But we will do so in a disciplined manner,” he said, “that focuses on returns generated from spend.”

How future revenues look depends on factors like the evolution of the NJ industry and other markets going live.

Several backers agree with Jackson about PPB’s future hold on the sports betting industry.

Morgan Stanley said that “Paddy Power Betfair’s US business is seen as a key play on the attractive US opportunity, and M&A upside risk is increasing, in our view.”

Added UBS:

“We believe (Paddy Power is) well positioned in the US with FanDuel, which combined with the market size potential means we see potential positive catalysts were we to get more comfort around the UK performance.”

About the Author

Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.