American television broadcasting giant, Fox Corporation, has reportedly agreed a deal that is to see it spend around $236 million in order to acquire a 4.99% stake in prominent online casino and sportsbetting operator, The Stars Group Incorporated.
According to a Wednesday report from the Bloomberg news service, the agreement was revealed by Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer for Toronto-headquartered, Stars Group, and comes after Fox made $71 billion in March by selling off a substantial share of its business to The Walt Disney Company.
Fox Bet intention:
As part of the deal, NASDAQ-listed Fox, which is controlled by the family of billionaire businessman, Rupert Murdoch, is reportedly set to partner with The Stars Group Incorporated in order to launch its own online sportsbetting business later in the year. Purportedly due to be branded under the Fox Bet moniker, this service is to offer aficionados in American states that have legalized sportsbetting the ability to wager on the outcome of a wide range of sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bloomberg reported that this alliance also includes an option that gives Fox Corp via its Fox Sports subsidiary a ten-year option on a further 50% of the American business of The Stars Group.
As if this wasn’t enough, the news service reported that the deal furthermore encompasses a provision that is to involve Stars gaining an up to 25-year exclusive option on some content from Fox Sports in exchange for the broadcaster agreeing to spend an undisclosed amount every year advertising with the iGaming operator.
Previously known as Amaya Incorporated until a 2017 name-change, Stars is responsible for the iGaming brands at PokerStars and FullTilt and is moreover active in the American online sportsbetting market via its New Jersey-facing BetStarsNJ.com and PokerStarsNJ.com domains, which it runs in partnership with the Resorts Digital Gaming LLC entity of Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel. The Canadian firm furthermore controls the United Kingdom’s Sky Bet sportsbetting brand after splurging some a $4.7 billion in July to acquire operator Sky Betting and Gaming from previous owners CVC Capital Partners and Sky.
Ashkenazi told Bloomberg that Fox is essentially ‘looking at betting as an additional pillar to its strategy’ and that the just-announced deal is set to give his firm access to ‘a media company with an aligned strategy.’
For his part, Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer for Fox Sports, reportedly told the news service that the agreement will help his company to diversify its offering subsequent to citing recent research that indicated some 27% of American adults would be willing to place a wager with an online sportebetting brand tied to his firm.
“It’s going to be successful if the fans who are already our customers engage more with us [and] engage more with the sports they love.”