FanDuel and Cordish Announce Partnership

Online sports betting and fantasy sports bookmaker FanDuel has announced a partnership with the Cordish Companies, a Baltimore-based casino and hotel developer. The deal will see FanDuel establishing and operating a number of sportsbooks across the developer’s Pennsylvanian casinos, with the first to launch in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia city skyline at dusk.

FanDuel has partnered with Pennsylvanian casino developer the Cordish Companies in offering sportsbook at their casinos, with the first set to open in Philadelphia’s new Live! Casino. ©Pierre Blaché, Pixabay

The partnership is the latest in a string of successful agreements for FanDuel, which has seen them collaborate with a number of developers across the country in establishing sportsbooks since the federal sports betting ban was overturned in 2018. Recently, Massachusetts lawmakers approved of FanDuel’s plan to offer fantasy sports betting on its Suffolk Downs horse races.

The Cordish Companies, whose resorts, casino and entertainment properties host over 55 million visitors a year, are looking to create a unique experience with FanDuel at their select properties, including the Live! resort in Philadelphia which is currently under construction in South Philadelphia’s Stadium District.

The $700 million casino is set to feature FanDuel-branded betting and Cordish operations. The move makes sense for both enterprises; with FanDuel being a trusted brand in the sports betting market, the close proximity to Philadelphia’s stadium homes of the Eagles, 76ers, Phillies, and Flyers is bound to lure in plenty of sports fans.

Joseph Weinberg, the Principal at the Cornish Companies announced that the agreement will provide “unique promotions and sports engagement opportunities that will only be available at Live properties.” He added, “we are excited to partner with FanDuel to bring our customers the premier sports betting experience in the country.”

FanDuel also expressed their excitement in a press release.

“With ten decades of experience, The Cordish Companies have created the model for world-class integrated sports, gaming, entertainment, and hospitality destinations… This partnership allows us to capitalize on the incredible success of sports betting to date and bring FanDuel’s top sports betting operations to Cordish destinations across the United States.”Matt King, CEO, FanDuel Group

The FanDuel Rollout

While the Cornish Companies look forward to offering FanDuel sportsbooks at all of their casino complexes, the rollout will need to be gradual. Along with Live! Casino and Hotel in Philadelphia, they will also open a sportsbook at their Live Casino in Westmoreland County. Although the Cornish Companies also have casino properties in the state of Maryland, they will need to wait until they can expand their partnership there.

This is because the state lawmakers have yet to approve of legalizing sports gambling. There have been numerous attempts since the ban was overturned, including a number of efforts during last year’s General Assembly session. It is believed that Maryland’s legislators will again attempt to address the law during the 2020 legislative session.

However, the efforts have not been without their hurdles, with many lawmakers clashing over factors like who should be allowed to host sportsbooks and whether or not the decision should come down to voter approval. Regardless, both companies have announced that they plan to “pursue sports betting licenses and online gaming opportunities” in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and other locations of Cornish casinos.

While some states have found sports betting to be a sizeable new revenue stream to their state tax coffers, many casino operators don’t expect sports betting to be a particularly reliable revenue source. Instead, sports betting is seen as a way to lure new patrons into their casinos.

“It’s not so much about the money you make from sports betting, but the fact that it is a traffic driver to the casinos,” said Maryland’s lottery and gaming director Gordon Medenica. “They believe that with sports betting, it will bring in perhaps a whole new category of player — perhaps the younger players who come to the casinos, and while they’re there also play some of our higher margin games like table games and slot machines.”

FanDuel Offering Gaming in Massachusetts

In related news, Massachusetts gaming regulators have approved of FanDuel’s plans to offer daily fantasy sports competitions based on its horse races. They have become the second state to approve FanDuel for horse racing after California’s Horse Racing Board approved the plans in late November.

FanDuel is owned by Flutter Entertainment, who also owns the mobile betting platform and horse racing broadcaster TVG. The move could be seen as a new way to introduce daily fantasy sports players to horse racing. According to FanDuel, horse racing is in need of finding new ways of exposure, while daily fantasy sports players are looking for new games to play.

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