FanDuel Dives Into Georgia Despite No Peach State Sports Betting

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Despite Georgia sports betting legislation fizzling this session, FanDuel is investing in the state.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that FanDuel Sportsbook plans to open a product development and IT operations hub in Atlanta. The project reportedly includes an investment of more than $15 million.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development expects the creation of more than 900 jobs over the next five years. It is unclear what kind of incentives the the company received for the project.

“I’m proud to welcome FanDuel to the Peach State, and I look forward to seeing the countless opportunities this project creates for the hard-working Georgians across metro Atlanta,” Kemp said in a statement. “FanDuel’s decision to open a tech hub in Georgia is a testament to our world-class universities and tech training programs, as well as the diverse ecosystem of professional sports leagues and teams we’ve cultivated here.”

FanDuel campus in Georgia

The project’s highlight is a 68,000-square-foot office in Midtown Atlanta. 

The facility will work on software engineering, product development, information technology, and program design.

“During this process, it became clear that Atlanta provided FanDuel with a winning combination of access to a thriving tech cluster, respected educational institutions we could partner with, and a diverse and welcoming community eager for our arrival,” FanDuel Chief Product Officer Sarah Butterfass said.

Georgia education a key component for FanDuel

FanDuel will work with Georgia’s higher education system to prepare students for technology careers.

The company will help develop curriculums to fulfill positions in the technology industry. FanDuel also will host resume workshops, mock interview sessions, and provide a mentorship program.

“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with FanDuel, with the state’s public colleges and universities offering some of the best courses and advanced technology training in the nation to help it thrive in Atlanta and Georgia,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley said.

“A number of institutions within the University System of Georgia are at the forefront of preparing graduates for careers in this dynamic industry, teaching them critical skills that companies need to create jobs and drive Georgia’s economy.”

No sports betting in Georgia – yet 

Prior to the 2021 legislative session, efforts to legalize sports betting in Georgia looked promising. A bill to put sports betting on the 2022 GA ballot came up short without action on the House floor on the last day of the session.

Democrats dropped out of supporting the sports betting legislation in opposition to a bill Kemp signed to greatly reduce voting rights. Voting rights emerged as a hurdle to sports betting early in the year.

Kemp is opposed to legalized gambling, but would welcome a voter-backed constitutional amendment to allow betting. 

FanDuel’s Georgia push

FanDuel is among the companies pushing for entry into the Peach State. 

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the company donated more than $70,000 to Georgia politicians since 2016.

“We want to bring the excitement of our product to Georgia residents when and if the Legislature decides to take that up. And we’ll support that if they do. But we feel Atlanta is best for our long-term growth,” FanDuel Vice President of Communications Chris Jones said.

“We didn’t approach this with the mindset that moving here begets legislation.”