Paddy Power in discussions to combine United States business with FanDuel

Paddy Power Betfair said it is in discussions to buy US fantasy sports site FanDuel

Paddy Power Betfair is in talks to merge its US unit with closely held website FanDuel as the Irish bookmaker positions itself for expanded sports betting in the USA following a Supreme Court ruling this week.

Citing multiple sources close to the talks, Legal Sports Report said that although details of the mooted agreement are unknown, it is understood the value of the deal is some way below the $1bn (€844.6m) at which FanDuel was once valued.

The move comes just days after the United States relaxed its gambling laws, providing an opening for the likes of William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair. New Jersey is among the states expected to enact legislation within weeks. It offers exchange sports betting and pari-mutuel betting products, fixed odds games betting, online games and casino, and business-to-business services, as well as peer to peer games, including online bingo and poker.

FanDuel, founded in Edinburgh, is backed by the likes of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Google Capital and NBC Sports Ventures.

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Players pay an entry fee for each contest and compete for cash prizes.

FanDuel was part of merger discussion previous year with rival DraftKings but the plan was scrapped in July after a legal challenge by the US Federal Trade Commission.

The news follows a US Supreme Court ruling on Monday that paved the way for states to legalise sports gambling and Paddy Power Betfair's entry into the US fantasy sports market past year with the acquisition of DRAFT for up to $48m. Deutsche Bank restated a "buy" rating on shares of Paddy Power Betfair in a research report on Friday, March 9th.

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