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FanDuel owner Flutter to shut down Fox Bet

Animated illustration of a sports betting app on a phone starting to shake, and a delete button popping up in the top right corner.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Sports betting platform Fox Bet is shutting down, FanDuel owner Flutter Entertainment and Fox Corp. announced Monday.

Why it matters: Despite the growing popularity of sports betting and brand power of broadcasters like Fox, the operations have not been easily profitable.

Catch up quick: Fox launched the sports betting platform in 2019 with The Stars Group, which was acquired by Dublin-based Flutter in 2020.

  • Flutter reported a loss of $313 million for its U.S. business in its 2022 annual report.
  • Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said on a March earnings call that Fox Bet and PokerStars contributed only 3% of U.S. revenue and 30% of losses. He said he expected "between half and two-thirds of [$75 million in losses] to go away" if Fox Bet were shut down.

Details: Fox Bet will be phased out between Monday and Aug. 31.

  • Fox will retain the use of the Fox Bet brand and plans to launch a Fox Super 6 game — the name of its free-to-play contest picking the winners of games — later this summer, according to the release.
  • Fox will keep its 2.5% stake in Flutter and hold its option to acquire 18.6% of FanDuel.

Between the lines: Fox had big plans for Fox Bet when it introduced the app in 2019, but those plans hit a snag over a lengthy legal dispute with Flutter in 2021 over the price that Fox would have to pay to buy a stake in FanDuel.

  • Last year, an arbitrator said that Fox has the right to buy an 18.6% stake in FanDuel from Flutter, but not at the price it was hoping for.
  • The legal drama delayed Fox's ability to roll out the app in the U.S.

What we're watching: Flutter had considered an IPO for FanDuel, but Flutter shareholders voted earlier this year for a U.S. stock listing of Flutter.

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