FanDuel has signed a multi-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, giving the operator market access to the Arizona sports betting market. [Image: Flickr.com]
A comprehensive partnership
On the same day that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legal sports betting into law, FanDuel announced a partnership with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. This multi-year deal will see FanDuel acting as the team’s official daily fantasy sports and sportsbook partner. The Suns tweeted about the new partnership on Thursday:
This agreement includes FanDuel opening a luxury retail sportsbook in the Talking Stick Resort Arena, the team’s home court, subject to regulatory approval. The plan is for the sportsbook to be ready to open by the beginning of the 2021-2022 NBA season.
This FanDuel Sportsbook Lounge will span more than 6,300 square feet and be open on a daily basis for people to place bets on a wide range of global sporting events. It will have self-service kiosks, as well as a full-service ticket window. FanDuel and the Suns will also host a number of responsible gambling activities to make sure that people are betting in a safe manner. The operator also plans to launch an online sportsbook.
the FanDuel partnership is a “watershed moment” for the organization
Phoenix Suns CEO and president Jason Rowley spoke about how the FanDuel partnership is a “watershed moment” for the organization, saying “FanDuel is committed to making sports more exciting while the Suns are focused on delivering exciting sports and entertainment and engaging fans at the highest level possible.”
FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger spoke about the operator’s excitement in partnering with the Suns and launching its online and retail sportsbooks in the future. He hopes that it will be a “long-term and innovative collaboration that will have a lasting impact on the state.”
Legal sports betting in Arizona
Sports betting legalization has been a hot topic in Arizona for some time. On Monday, the state Senate gave its final approval to the legislation that aimed to legalize sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Governor Doug Ducey signed the legislation into law on Thursday. Up to ten professional sports organizations in the state with stadiums that can hold at least 10,000 people will be able to get a sports betting license. This includes locations that host PGA Tour events or NASCAR races.
Ten licenses will also be on offer to tribal casinos. Currently, 16 tribes are operating casinos in the state. The state-tribal compacts were renewed for 20 years on Thursday, modified to allow for the creation of additional casinos and more expansive game offerings.
Lawmakers hope that online sportsbooks will launch in time for the NFL season and that remote registration will be possible.
A busy time for FanDuel
It has been a busy week for FanDuel, with an announcement on Thursday that the sportsbook operator is now an official sports betting partner of the NFL along with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings. These are the first operators to sign such a deal with the NFL, the last major sports league to get betting partners on board. As a result of the agreement, FanDuel will be able to use the official NFL marks and have access to league stats and content. The operator will also be able to integrate odds into the NFL app and website.
FanDuel is currently one of the biggest sports betting operators in the United States. However, it is part of a dispute involving its parent company and Fox Corporation. Flutter Entertainment is the majority owner of FanDuel and previously gave Fox the option to buy 18.6% of the sports betting and daily fantasy sports company. Fox and Flutter, though, disagree about how to value this equity. As a result, Fox began legal action last week and it is reportedly threatening to pull all mentions of FanDuel from the Fox Sports airwaves.