FanDuel Weathering Sports Shutdown Thanks To Horse Racing, Online Casino

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FanDuel parent company Flutter reported a mere 8% year-on-year drop in US revenues for the four weeks after sports shut down March 15.

The company said sports revenue fell 46%, but gaming was up 200% in the period.

However, FanDuel suggested the gaming uptick was due to organic growth (via cross-sell) and the launch in Pennsylvania rather than COVID-19. For Q1 as a whole, gaming was up 255% to $33 million

Horse racing helped to fill FanDuel sports void

The operator’s sports business was also insulated to the pandemic to some extent by the continuation of horse racing across the US.

“Our racing coverage is increasingly being televised on US mainstream channels, introducing our TVG product to a new cohort of potential customers,” the company said.

For comparison, Flutter saw sports revenues drop 65% in its European business, where sports and racing have been called off.

Customer acquisition a strong point

The operator said it acquired 100,000 new US customers since the beginning of the year, bringing total sportsbook customers acquired since launch to over 450,000. 

As a result, FanDuel’s online sportsbook continues to lead the wider market, with an approximate 41% market share.

Finally, revenue across the TVG racing and DFS businesses grew 3% year-on-year in the quarter, although no specific figures were given.

Merger with TSG on track for Q2 close

Elsewhere, Flutter said it secured approval from Irish competition authorities for its tie-up with The Stars Group (TSG).

“We look forward to completing the transaction in Q2 upon receipt of outstanding shareholder and regulatory approvals,” said Flutter CEO Peter Jackson.

TSG also issued a trading update, confirming similar trends to Flutter in its US brands, Fox Bet and PokerStars.

“We have seen increased customer activity across our online poker and casino products, which has so far similarly continued into April, and as such, has also shifted our marketing efforts to support PokerStars,” the company said.

The firm posted a loss of $15 million for Q1, in line with its expectations.