Player funds are safe
Flutter Entertainment has announced that it is shutting down its Fox Bet sports betting platform, effective immediately. Fox Bet is no longer taking wagers and will see its operations completed phased out throughout the month of August.
After August 31, players can get to any funds still in their accounts through PokerStars and/or PokerStars Casino, using the same login credentials as they used on Fox Bet.
The closure will not affect Flutter’s other brands, namely US market leader FanDuel and online poker room PokerStars. Fox will keep the rights to the Fox Bet brand, in case it wants to revive it in the future.
Fox will also maintain its 18.6% ownership stake in FanDuel and 2.5% stake in Flutter Entertainment.
Good idea that never really worked
The partnership between Flutter and Fox made sense on the surface. They got together when online sports betting was first getting off the ground in the US. Though PokerStars’ sports betting platform was new, the company had plenty of online gambling and technology experience that would be beneficial to Fox. Fox Sports, in the meantime, has been a big brand in the US for decades, so that name recognition could help PokerStars make inroads in the market.
But Flutter’s acquisition of PokerStars hurt things, as Flutter already owned FanDuel, thus probably limiting the company’s desire to spread Fox Bet around the country. By the end, FOX Bet was only in Colorado, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and Colorado was the only state in which the sportsbook wasn’t attached to PokerStars.
The United States was looked at as the ultimate get for sports betting companies when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, and it certainly has been, but the market consolidated quickly, with only a few companies really being able to grow. Loads of smaller sportsbooks have shut down, including the likes of theScore Bet and Fubo Sportsbook.
It is not out of the question that Flutter could try to do something with a PokerStars-branded sportsbook in the US; it did operate BetStars at one point. But it doesn’t make much sense and probably won’t happen. While PokerStars is a major global gambling brand, it still only operates its online poker room in a few states. FanDuel, on the other hand, is a giant in the US sports betting and daily fantasy sports industry, so why create another sportsbook just to compete within the family?
In fact, Flutter Entertainment has advised Fox Bet customers to head on over to FanDuel if they want to keep betting on sports.