- Flutter Entertainment and Fox Corporation have announced the impending closure of their FOX Bet sports betting platform.
- Flutter operated FOX Bet as part of the Stars Group along with the US facing operations of PokerStars.
- Flutter owns and operates FanDuel. Fox Corp holds an option to acquire 18.6% of fan duel and holds a 2.5% stake in London Stock Exchange listed Flutter.
The US sports betting industry is a dumpster fire, thanks primarily to clueless and incompetent state regulators. That’s why you’re seeing companies running for the exits. Even successful operators see the ‘writing on the wall’ that the US market will be parceled out to a few large players along with the legacy gaming industry and other cronies of state politicians and regulators. PointsBet has done a great job gaining traction in the US market and they’ve recently made a smart move by selling their US interests to sports merchandising giant Fanatics.
The latest sportsbook to throw in the towel is FOX Bet which announced plans to shut down as soon as humanly possible. The press release suggested that they’re ‘winding down’ and will engage in a ‘phased closure’ but since they’re planning to have everything shut down by August 31 they’re clearing getting out as fast as they can. Here’s the brief press release announcing the closure:
LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK, July 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Flutter Entertainment plc (“Flutter”) (London Stock Exchange/Euronext Dublin: FLTR) and Fox Corporation (“FOX”) (Nasdaq: FOX, FOXA), announce today the decision to close sports betting platform FOX Bet. A phased closure of FOX Bet’s operations will take place between July 31 and August 31, 2023.
Flutter operated FOX Bet as part of The Stars Group US (“TSG US”) along with the US facing operations of PokerStars. Flutter will retain ownership of PokerStars, in addition to US sports betting market leader FanDuel. FOX will retain future use of the FOX and FOX Bet brands, including FOX Bet Super 6, and intends to launch an all-new FOX Super 6 game later this summer.
FOX will continue to hold its option to acquire 18.6% of FanDuel and in addition holds a 2.5% stake in Flutter.
Although FOX Bet ran into the same roadblocks as other non juiced-in sportsbooks in many states they made plenty of mistakes on their own. They had endless opportunities for cross promotion with their other properties–particularly Fox Sports–but appeared to think that just slapping their name on a sportsbook would be enough. The free to play FOX Bet Super 6 game has been a huge hit but did them little to no good acquiring players for their sportsbooks in Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
A FAQ on the FOX Bet website announcing the closure said it was due to ‘commercial reasons’. The biggest loser in all of this is–as always–sports bettors. One of the most prescient observations I’ve made post PASPA came the day the Supreme Court decision was announced. I told a number of media sources that with a few exceptions several years down the road the majority of US sports bettors’ best wagering option would still be the offshore industry. Not to ‘blow my own horn’ but ‘toot toot’.