Flutter ‘Encouraged’ By FanDuel In Indiana Despite DraftKings’ Early Dominance

DraftKings is off to a fast start in Indiana, but could FanDuel be nipping at its feet?

In October, DraftKings, which launched Oct 3., handled $39,374,511 in wagers, a whopping 43% of the statewide handle. That includes the retail sportsbooks peppered around the Hoosier State. The Boston-based company partnered with Penn National Gaming for access to the market. FanDuel, which didn’t see its launch until Oct. 22, handled $2,373,840.

On a per-day average, DraftKings handled $1,357,741, compared to $237,384 for FanDuel. The latter has a greater retail presence in the state, thanks to partnerships with a pair of Boyd Gaming casinos. DraftKings teamed up with just one Penn National Gaming property, per the Indiana Gaming Commission.

Another development that makes DraftKings’ fast start relative to its rival impressive is that FanDuel has an exclusive marketing deal with the Indianapolis Colts, the state’s most popular pro sports team.

Slow and steady wins the race?

FanDuel is the market leader in New Jersey, the most sophisticated sports betting market to date. While Nevada’s industry is much older thanks to the now-former federal prohibition on the activity outside of the Silver State, the Garden State has emerged as the leader in mobile betting, the future of the industry.

In August 2018, DraftKings launched in New Jersey, ahead of FanDuel, which opened its virtual sports betting doors a month later. DraftKings enjoyed an early lead in the state, but by January 2019 FanDuel had overtaken it in terms of both handle and revenue, according to FanDuel. (Unlike other regulatory bodies, the NJ DGE doesn’t release handle by platform, instead grouping a site like FanDuel in with other online skins affiliated with the same land-based partner.)

Could the same thing happen in Indiana? Flutter Entertainment recently agreed to acquire The Stars Group, which is behind the fledgling FOX Bet platform. The acquisition will give Flutter a devastating one-two punch in Indiana after the FOX Bet branded platform launches (no timeline yet). FanDuel won’t be Flutter’s only horse in Indiana, a state that allows three sports gambling skins per casino licensee.

Still, Flutter is hoping FanDuel can take market share from DraftKings as soon as possible in a replication of the New Jersey market. In a third quarter earnings report released last week, Flutter was modest about its online gambling launch in the Hoosier State.

“On Oct. 22, we launched our online sportsbook in Indiana and while it is still very early days, we have been encouraged by our performance there to date,” the company said in a press release the day before the IGC October numbers came out. “Overall US active customer growth is currently running ahead of our expectations. We have now acquired over 250k online sportsbook customers [in U.S. legal jurisdictions], up from just over 200k at the time of The Stars Group announcement.”

The combined group of Flutter and TSG will be stiff competition for DraftKings, but the company embraces it. So far, it’s winning in the Hoosier State.

“We view competition as healthy and ultimately good for the consumer, so we welcome it,” Jamie Shea, DraftKings’ head of sportsbook digital, told Hoosier State Bets last month. “The depth and size of competition will vary state by state, but our approach and goals will remain the same.”