Flutter, the owner of Paddy Power, and Fox Corporation, the broadcaster, have jointly announced the closure of their US sports betting platform, Fox Bet. Flutter, which is the market leader with its FanDuel brand, revealed that Fox Bet accounted for less than 3% of its $2.6 billion (€2.3 billion) revenue in the rapidly expanding US market last year. After incurring a loss of $313 million in the US in 2020, Flutter is aiming to return to profitability this year. The closure of Fox Bet is expected to significantly reduce the losses incurred by Flutter, with CEO Peter Jackson estimating that between half and two-thirds of the $91 million loss attributed to Fox Bet and PokerStars will be eliminated. If Flutter achieves profitability this year, it will become the first operator to do so in the US since the lifting of the nationwide ban on sports betting in 2018.
The closure of Fox Bet will be carried out in a phased manner between July 31 and August 31, according to the companies’ statement. However, Fox will retain the right to use the Fox and Fox Bet brands, including Fox Bet Super 6. Furthermore, the broadcaster has plans to launch a new game called Fox Super 6 later this summer. Additionally, Fox will maintain its option to acquire 18.6% of FanDuel, in addition to its existing 2.5% stake in Flutter.
It is worth noting that in 2021, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox filed an arbitration claim regarding the valuation of its stake in FanDuel. This dispute stems from a deal struck during Flutter’s acquisition of the Stars Group in North America in 2019, which facilitated the launch of Fox Bet. The outcome of this arbitration remains to be seen.
As of now, the closure of Fox Bet marks a significant development in the US sports betting market. Flutter’s determination to achieve profitability this year, coupled with Fox’s plans to continue using the Fox brand and potentially increase its stake in FanDuel, suggests that both companies remain committed to the rapidly growing US market.