MLB Announces FanDuel Group as an Authorized Gaming Operator
The partnership is the second of its kind between the MLB and a sportsbook. On July 25, the MLB announced a similar agreement with rival sportsbook DraftKings, exactly three weeks prior to FanDuel’s partnership being announced.
The multi-year partnership will give FanDuel access to official MLB data and allows FanDuel to use official league and team logos across FanDuel’s online offerings or brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
Homegrown Sportsbooks Leading Betting
"Baseball is one of the most popular sports to bet on and partnering with MLB allows us to make the betting experience even better for our customers," FanDuel Group President and COO Kip Levin said in the press release.
“With an enhanced betting experience, sports fans are watching more baseball as they have a stake in the game.”
With the agreement, New York-based FanDuel will have almost unparalleled access to stats and data to keep it ahead of most other sportsbooks in the country. FanDuel's biggest competition is its eternal rival, Boston-based DraftKings, which will have the same access.
However, since launching, FanDuel has been gaining on DraftKings, and the two are currently at the top of the American market. MLB's Executive Vice President for Gaming & New Business Ventures, Kenny Gersh, noted FanDuel’s growth when speaking in the joint press release by FanDuel and the MLB.
“FanDuel has proven itself to be a leader in the sports betting space and has shifted a step ahead again through its commitment to, and recognition of, the value in being an authorized gaming operator," Gersh said. "Now having access to our official sports betting data feeds and MLB brands, we’re looking forward to the creative sports betting and fan experience innovations FanDuel will develop.”
An additional factor to consider is that having the official data will allow both DraftKings and FanDuel to offer MLB betting in Tennessee, once sports betting begins in the state. Tennessee will require sportsbooks to use official league data to offer bets on a league’s games. It is currently the only state with such a requirement.
Baseball’s Natural Betting Attraction
Baseball betting is a market that no sportsbook is going to want to get left behind on. As the only major league in the United States active during the summer, sportsbooks are going to want to keep baseball as a feature.
Even non-gamblers know what baseball can offer to betting. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shared a conversation he’d had with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, where Silver said, “your pace of play is perfect for in-game sports betting.”
This thought was clearly in mind. The press release ends: "In-play wagering is a large part of the sports betting experience and accounts for more than 50% of FanDuel Sportsbook’s total business.”
Manfred and the MLB’s first Authorized Gaming Operator agreement was a good step toward embracing betting. Agreeing to a second partnership is solid proof that the MLB is willing to fully welcome the new world of American sports betting.
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