Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment has agreed to buy The Stars Group in a deal that will create the world’s largest online betting company. The deal will give Flutter shareholders a 55% majority in a group worth £10 billion, while TSG shareholders will control the remaining 45%. TSG’s flagship site is Poker Stars, but it branched out into sports betting with the launch of Bet Stars. It then purchased Sky Bet in a £3 billion deal last year. This takeover will make Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet, FanDuel, Bet Stars, Poker Stars and FOX Bet all part of the same group, giving it a market leading position in several jurisdictions around the world. “We believe the combination of Flutter and TSG will deliver substantial value for shareholders,” said Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson. “We will have an exceptional portfolio of leading recreational brands and best-in-class products on industry-leading technology platforms.”
William Hill has tied up a deal with Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis to launch the first in-stadium sportsbook in the US. It will be built in the Capital One Arena in the nation’s capital, which houses the Wizards along with NHL team Washington Capitals. Washington, D.C. legalized sports betting last year following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down PASPA. Yet there is controversy over its decision to award a monopoly on the market to lottery provider Intralot. A D.C. resident is suing the District over this no-bid contract, and that could delay the rollout of legal sports betting. William Hill’s ability to operate in the capital will be subject to the company winning a $500,000 licence through the state lottery. “We won’t be thinking of this as gambling 10 years from now,” Leonsis told the Financial Times, adding that he wanted the Capital One arena betting experience to be “more like an Apple store” than “a cocktail lounge”. William Hill has also announced a partnership with the NBA to make it an authorised sports betting partner of pro basketball.
Ladbrokes has installed climate change activist Greta Thurnberg as the favourite to win this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. She is now as short as 1/2 to follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev by winning the award. “It’s hard to argue against the impact Thunberg’s actions have had globally, and that’s reflected in her odds as the favourite,” said Ladbrokes’ Jessica O’Reilly. The Swedish teenager first staged a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish Parliament in August last year, and that has inspired thousands of students across the globe to follow in her footsteps as they advocate greener policies from governments.
MansionBet has agreed a virtual sports content deal with IMG Arena and Leap Gaming. It will now offer virtual football, horse racing, tennis, trotting, speedway, cycling and greyhounds games. “Integrating Leap’s market-leading virtual sports portfolio with IMG Arena brings a package of sophisticated and entertaining content that perfectly complements the existing Mansion proposition,” said David Murphy, chief marketing officer at Mansion Group.