Paddy Power in talks to tie-up with FanDuel

Fantasy sports companies have been under pressure over whether their games are gambling

The nation's highest court on Monday struck down the federal law that had barred single-game gambling in most of the country, saying it unconstitutionally forced states to maintain their prohibitions.

This landmark decision is bound to create a lot of movement in the gambling industry and Paddy Power Betfair seems intent on leading the way as the company has just announced their intention to purchase FanDuel, a fantasy sports site also interested in getting involved with traditional sports betting.

The Supreme Court ruling did make sports wagering legal in New Jersey, which already had laws and regulations on the books authorizing the practice.

FanDuel has hitherto focused on offreing its 6m registered users online and app-based fantasy sports games across the NFL, NBA, MLB and National Hockey League.

If a deal goes ahead, it is likely to be worth considerably more than the $48m (£35.6m) that Paddy Power paid for FanDuel's smaller rival Draft past year. New Jersey is among the states expected to enact legislation within weeks.

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Analysts have valued FanDeal at more than $1bn.

Paddy Power Betfair's shares jumped by more than 12.2% in a day when the supreme court announced its decision earlier this week, signalling analysts' belief that it is well placed to launch an assault on the U.S. market.

Paddy Power Betfair claim that a potential deal would see a combination of the groups U.S. based businesses with FanDuel.

However, while Paddy Power hopes to be the buyer in this case, analysts at the stockbroker Goodbody said European betting firms could find that they are tempting targets for United States companies looking to purchase expertise.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "As far as bookmaker friendly results go, the Supreme Court's PASPA ruling is as amiable as they come".

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