United States online sports betting enthusiasts will soon have one fewer option for their wagers. However, it’s likely that the majority of the players in four states won’t even notice the disappearance of Fox Bet Sportsbook given parent company Flutter’s assessment of the brand.
Fox Bet Sportsbook is shuttering across the United States as United Kingdom-based Flutter looks to prioritize profitability in its US operations. However, the relationship between Fox and Flutter in the US isn’t also on the way out.
In fact, Fox might actually benefit from the shuttering of Fox Bet more than if Flutter had continued to devote resources toward the product.
Flutter announces phased closure of Fox Bet in the US
According to a Monday news release from Fox, Fox Bet will close in every current active US market by Aug. 31. Current account holders will likely receive more information about withdrawing any sums between now and then.
FoxBet offered its sports betting platform in four states:
- New Jersey
Fox says it will retain ownership of the Fox Bet brand and plans to introduce a “new FOX Super 6 game later this summer.” The Super 6 has been a promotion endemic to the Fox Bet Sportsbook during its life span.
The relationship between Flutter and Fox began in May 2020. That was when Flutter purchased The Stars Group, which Fox originally partnered with to create Fox Bet. Throughout its time, Fox Bet has struggled to gain significant market share in any of the four states regarding both online casino and sports betting play.
Fox might not be completely out of the online gambling business now, though. To the contrary, it could see more revenue from its interests in that industry than ever moving forward.
Fox could replace Fox Bet with a more prominent brand
Fox’s partnership with Flutter hasn’t always been cordial. As a matter of fact, Fox fought an expensive legal battle with Flutter regarding Flutter’s premier US online gambling brand.
Flutter is also the parent company of FanDuel. When Flutter bought The Stars Group, Flutter agreed to give Fox an option to buy up to an 18.6% stake in FanDuel in exchange for taking over Fox Bet’s operations.
However, a dispute over the cost of that stake ensued. In November 2022, an arbitrator settled that dispute. The arbitrator set the price tag at $3.72 billion through 2030. After that the option remains but the price escalates annually.
Should Fox ever decide to exercise that option, it could become one of the largest investors in one of the most robust online gambling companies in the US.
FanDuel represents a superior opportunity
In the first quarter of this year, Flutter reported a 92% improvement in revenue for its US operations compared to Q1 2022.
While Flutter also operates PokerStars in the US, FanDuel accounted for most of that growth. According to Reuters, Fox Bet comparatively has been a drain for Flutter. Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said that as much as two-thirds of its 2022 US operating loss would have disappeared if Fox Bet wasn’t operational.
With Fox Bet out of the way, Flutter can devote more of those resources to making FanDuel an even greater success. In that way, Fox could potentially see more income from even a small stake in FanDuel than it ever saw from Fox Bet.
Whether Fox agreeing to shutter Fox Bet is a precursor to exercising that FanDuel investment option is uncertain right now. Fox still has over six years to exercise that option at the current price. At the very least, Fox Bet will soon enter the lexicon of online gambling experiments that failed to meet expectations.