Paddy Power’s Draft purchase hailed as positive move for DFS sector

Paddy Power’s Draft purchase hailed as positive move for DFS sector

Friday, May 26, 2017 Posted by James Walker
Riccardo Mittiga, head of Sportito

Earlier this month, in a move to expand its corporate footprint within the US market, FTSE 100 betting firm Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) confirmed that it has agreed to acquire US mobile-focused daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator Draft in a deal valued at $48 million.

Founded in 2010 by co-CEOs Jeremy Levine and Jordan Fliegal, New York-based Draft seeks to be the leading mobile play DFS operator. The company is reported to have raised around $6 million in venture funding for its operations.

It has been reported that PPB governance are prepared to invest heavily in Draft, with the company forecasting an earnings loss of approximately $20 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

Commenting on the deal, Riccardo Mittiga, head of Sportito, a UK-focused DFS operator, said the purchase was good news for the sector.

“Paddy Power Betfair is one of the major players in Europe, and acquiring the US company Draft is their way of entering the US market to make it huge as they did in Europe,” Mittiga told TotallyGaming.com.

“This acquisition is definitely positive for the fantasy sports industry. It will now bring more attention and interest to the sector, mainly in US and Europe. If sharks like Paddy Power are acquiring DFS companies, this means the fantasy sports market is moving forward more rapidly than it was before.”

Mittiga added: “This deal will trigger the potential of other bookmakers entering the market. We at Sportito carefully track and follow the market dynamics, mergers and acquisitions to have a much better insight in order for us to improve. This will make us stronger and to serve our clients according to the market demands.”

Totally Gaming says: The Draft deal marks Paddy Power Betfair’s first venture into the US daily fantasy sports sector and the first time a major gambling operator has made such a definitive move into the space. The entrance of large players into the market acts as a clear indication that DFS has huge growth potential in sports-hungry North America.

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