The state of Pennsylvania’s very first FanDuel Sportsbook has officially opened at Valley Forge Casino Resort, as stated in a recent announcement from the property’s owner-operator, Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD), and the bookmaker and daily fantasy sports provider.
Timing is everything:
Located in King of Prussia, approximately 20 miles west of downtown Philadelphia, Valley Forge saw the official opening of the new 1,800 square foot sports betting retail location on March 13, 2019. Strategically opened just six days ahead of the start of the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, March Madness, the sportsbook is situated to the left of the main entrance to the casino.
Explaining the significance of the opening, Chief Executive Officer for FanDuel Group, Matt King, said…
“Opening the FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino Resort is the start of FanDuel Group’s retail sports betting expansion in partnership with Boyd Gaming. Our experience operating the top sportsbook in New Jersey at the Meadowlands Racetrack will serve us well as we enter Philadelphia and compete for customers in an area with some of the most passionate and knowledgeable sports fans.”
King, who served as Chief Financial Officer of FanDuel from 2014-2016, was named Chief Executive Officer in November 2017, after FanDuel announced that Nigel Eccles, co-founder and then, company head, would be stepping down from the Board of Directors and leaving the New York City-based firm.
For its part, Valley Forge’s General Manager, Dave Zerfing, said…
“We are excited to partner with FanDuel Group and bring a sports betting experience to our guests. Located next to our gaming floor, which has recently been expanded with 250 new slot machines, we take pride in continuing to enhance our amenities and offerings here at Valley Forge Casino Resort.”
The location, which is open to the public 7 days a week, will be managed by FanDuel in partnership with Valley Forge Casino Resort and Boyd Gaming. And in addition to two sports tickers, features 27 TV screens, seven betting windows, seating for over 30 customers and will accept wagers on all major U.S. sports including professional football (NFL), basketball (NBA), baseball (MLB) soccer (MLS), boxing, golf, motorsports and college basketball and football.
The merger that almost was:
The two biggest daily fantasy sports platforms, FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings, announced in November 2016, that they would merge, however, the deal was terminated in July 2017, after a month earlier, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authorized legal action to block the amalgamation that the independent government agency assessed would control more than 90 percent of the U.S. market for paid daily fantasy sports contests.
Paddy Power Betfair deal:
In July 2018, European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair closed on its $158 million cash deal to acquire a 61-percent stake in the daily fantasy sports operator. After which time, the Dublin-headquartered business made quick work of positioning itself in the U.S. sports betting market via the tie-up, beginning with FanDuel’s first sports betting deal to provide the sportsbook for The Greenbrier, in West Virginia, which hosts an annual PGA Tour event.
Boyd enters Pennsylvania:
Representing a key expansion in its nationwide portfolio, Boyd Gaming completed its $280.5 million acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort in September 2018. The Las Vegas-headquartered gaming and hospitality company’s first property in the state of Pennsylvania, the company currently owns and operates 29 gaming properties in ten states including Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio.