FanDuel Coming to Las Vegas by Way of Boyd Gaming Relationship

It’s not quite what many Nevada sports bettors are hoping for. But the FanDuel brand will be applied to the sportsbook at the downtown Fremont Hotel Casino.

Boyd Gaming’s Fremont Hotel Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The sportsbook there is taking the FanDuel name. (Image: Vegas Eater)

Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD), which owns that property, will continue managing the sportsbook. The casino operator owns 5% of FanDuel. The Nevada Independent reports FanDuel will likely appear on the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s (NGCB) meeting agenda this month for licensing.

FanDuel’s ability to offer its famed mobile betting application in Nevada isn’t expected to be discussed at the upcoming NGCB, confirming the agreement with Boyd at the Fremont Hotel Casino is all about marketing. Under the terms of the accord, FanDuel’s name will be applied to the Fremont sportsbook, and the company’s odds will be used on bets placed there. But Boyd employees will continue staffing the sportsbook.

While mobile and online wagering is the driving force of the US sports betting industry, applying the FanDuel name to the downtown casino sportsbook could be a boon for Boyd in terms of driving more foot traffic. With more than 46% share of the regulated domestic online sports betting market, and one of the dominant perches in daily fantasy sports (DFS), FanDuel is one of the most recognizable brands in the gaming industry.

Boyd/FanDuel Relationship

Boyd has been a long-time, passive investor in FanDuel, which is a unit of Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY).

In Nevada, Boyd’s sports betting platform is Boyd Sports. But it partners with FanDuel in other states in which it has land-based casinos and sports wagering licenses. That relationship is poised to expand as more states join the live and legal sports betting fray.

We also continue to expand our presence in sports betting and online gaming. Kansas and Ohio recently passed sports betting legislation and with our partner FanDuel we plan to offer retail and mobile sports betting in both states,” said Boyd CEO Keith Smith on the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call last month. “Subject to regulatory approvals, we expect to launch sports betting in Kansas in the fall and Ohio around the first of the year, expanding our FanDuel partnership to eight of our nine regional states.”

He called Boyd’s stake in FanDuel “an important strategic asset” and one the casino operator expects will increase in value as mobile sports wagering is approved in more states.

Still Waiting on Proper Nevada Entry

As the gaming capitol of the US and one of the dominant sports wagering hubs, Nevada is home to plenty of sports betting options. That makes FanDuel and rival DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) conspicuous by their absences.

It’s widely believed both operators want to offer their mobile wagering services in the state, But the potential regulatory sticking point is Nevada’s onerous in-person registration requirement for sports betting apps. That requires a land-based casino, which neither DraftKings nor FanDuel directly possess.

For FanDuel, the eventual workaround could be its relationship with Boyd, while DraftKings’ 2021 acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) could pave the way for the company to enter Nevada by way of Golden Nugget’s land-based casinos in downtown Las Vegas and Laughlin.

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