FanDuel is an online betting platform where users can bet on the outcome of sports matches and horse races, engage in daily fantasy leagues, or play various casino games.
The company, which is headquartered in New York City, was founded in 2007 by Lesley Eccles, Nigel Eccles, Rob Jones, and Tom Griffiths.
FanDuel actually started out as HubDub, a platform that enabled users to bet on the outcome of almost any event – whether that was celebrities breaking up with their partners or whatever president would be elected next.
Unfortunately, HubDub never really caught on, so the founders decided to pivot into daily fantasy sports (DFS). In July 2009, they officially unveiled FanDuel to the public. Two years later, due to the firm’s rapid growth, they decided to move the firm’s headquarters from Edinburg, Scotland to New York City.
By 2015, FanDuel and DraftKings, its fiercest competitor in the DFS space, had captured 90 percent of the market already. Another three years later, the founders sold a majority stake to gambling juggernaut Flutter Entertainment.
Around the same time, the United States government legalized gambling on a federal level, thereby handing the decision to each individual state. FanDuel has since expanded its sportsbook product to close to 20 states.
It now claims to be the number one sportsbook app across North America, boasting a market share of more than 36 percent. More than 12 million people have registered to bet on the platform.
In 2021, FanDuel, which employs more than 2,000 people, generated close to $2 billion in revenue. The company had grown more than 113 percent compared to the year prior.
This is how FanDuel makes money
FanDuel currently sponsors a variety of sports leagues, teams, as well as celebrities. It has signed sponsorship deals with the likes of Pat McAfee, Bill Simmons, and dozens more.
The methodology with which competitors of FanDuel are ranked is based on publicly available information. Data points such as the revenue generated, active user counts, number of employees, and anything else in between will be considered.
This analysis, in order to ensure comparability, looks at competitors within the daily fantasy as well as sports betting industry. The competition that it faces within the online casino, as well as horse racing segments, will therefore be excluded.
Additionally, since FanDuel is only available in the United States as well as Canada, only competitors operating in these jurisdictions will be taken into account.
Lastly, this analysis should not be seen as an endorsement of any company or service. It merely acts as a summary of all the competition that FanDuel faces as of today.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top 10 competitors of FanDuel.
Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts, United States Founder(s): Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, Paul Liberman Year Founded: 2012
DraftKings is certainly the biggest competitor to FanDuel, both within the DFS as well as the online sports betting industry. Both companies also share an illustrious and sometimes scandalous history together.
In 2015, a DraftKings employee won $350,000 on FanDuel using aggregate data from his employer, which gave him an unfair advantage. DraftKings employees made a total of $6 million using that method. Their respective DFS operations were also halted in several states for some time.
And just a year later, the two companies actually tried to merge after losing hundreds of millions of dollars marketing their respective DFS offerings. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stopped the merger attempt over fears that it would create an exploitative monopoly.
Luckily, not long after, sports betting in the United States would be legalized on a federal level, thus opening up additional lucrative revenue streams for both firms. DraftKings rode that opportunity to an IPO in April 2020.
The firm raised close to $720 million in venture funding. In 2021, DraftKings generated $1.3 billion (up 110 percent) in revenue across its business, which also entails iGaming, software products, and even an NFT marketplace.
This equates to a market share of about 24 percent across North America. DraftKings continues to burn cash at a rapid pace, too. In fact, it lost $1.52 billion in 2021 alone. Over 3,500 are employed by the company as of today.
Headquarters: Paradise, Nevada, United States Founder(s): MGM Resorts International, Entain Year Founded: 2018
BetMGM became one of the first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the federal sports betting ban. Soon after, it announced an equal partnership with British gambling provider Entain, which owns brands such as bwin, Sportingbet, partypoker, and more.
Not long after the launch, they were able to sign (exclusive) partnerships with a variety of sports teams such as the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Nationals, and many more. It is, furthermore, the official sports betting partner for all leading North American leagues including the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and more.
While the joint venture was off to a slow start, it is now considered one of the leading sportsbook providers in the United States. BetMGM currently accounts for around 23 percent of the online gambling market and is available in more than 20 states.
In 2021, BetMGM generated $850 million in revenue, growing more than four times from the year prior ($178 million). However, the joint venture still lost around $420 million.
3. Caesars Sportsbook
Headquarters: Reno, Nevada, United States Founder(s): Caesars Entertainment Year Founded: 2021
Caesars Sportsbook, despite only having launched in August 2021, has quickly risen to become one of the biggest sportsbook providers in North America. At launch, it offered gambling in 8 states but has now expanded to over 20 plus Ontario, Canada.
The successful launch was made possible by two factors. In April 2021, Caesars acquired betting provider William Hill for $4 billion. A month after the sportsbook launch, it sold William Hill’s European business to 888 Holdings for $3 billion to only focus on the North American market.
Another reason for its rapid ascend has been its aggressive marketing campaign, which has accompanied the service since its launch. Caesars plans to eventually spend over $1 billion to promote the service.
Its sportsbook division, dubbed Caesars Interactive, is now a leading gambling provider in a variety of states such as New York. Overall, Caesars Sportsbook boasts a market share of over 20 percent.
Revenue-wise, the company seems on track as well. In 2021, Caesars Sportsbook generated $337 million in revenue. The parent company did not disclose how much the division lost.
Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia Founder(s): Andrew Fahey Year Founded: 2015
PointsBet is an Australian gambling provider that is known for offering pointsbetting, a high-risk, high-reward option. For example, if you take the over on an NBA team scoring above 100 points and they score 110, then you will be rewarded ten times your stake. But if they end up scoring 90, then you lose ten times the betted stake.
Its unique betting options have enabled PointsBet to capture around five percent of the U.S. betting market. Bettors from 10 states can access the service.
PointsBet went public on the Australian Stock Exchange in June 2019 after expanding into the U.S. (New Jersey) just six months before.
A little over a year later, in August, the company signed a $500 million deal with broadcasting network NBC to become its exclusive sports betting provider. NBC Sports’ portfolio of events includes the NFL, NHL, Premier League, golf majors, and many more.
As part of the deal, NBC acquired a 4.9 percent stake in PointsBet, which it can increase to up to 25 percent by the time the agreement expires (2025). PointsBet, in order to take advantage of more states opening up to gambling, raised another $294 million in funding in July 2021.
For the fiscal year 2021, PointsBet, which employs over 600 people, generated AUD$210.1 million in revenue. The overwhelming majority of that income comes from sports gambling while less than one percent can be attributed to its iGaming products.
5. William Hill
Headquarters: London, England Founder(s): William Hill Year Founded: 1934
William Hill is by far the oldest company on this list. It began as a telephone and postal betting service but eventually expanded into physical shops in 1966 after they were made legal just five years prior.
A year after, William Hill was sold to the Sears Holding Group. The firm, over the coming decades, went through various ownership changes. As previously stated, it sold its U.S. business to Caesars whereas its European division was sold to 888 Holdings for $3 billion in September 2021.
Nevertheless, this did not deter the firm from expanding into North America. The company has been active in the U.S. since 2012 when it launched in Nevada by acquiring three sportsbook chains. It is now the leading sportsbook in a variety of states including Iowa and Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, William Hill continues to operate over 1,400 stores in the U.K. alone. Those stores as well as its online operations, which entail sports betting, online casino games, skill games, and more, are managed by the 12,000+ people that are employed by William Hill. It is considered to be one of the leading betting providers in both Europe as well as South America.
In 2020, William Hill generated $1.81 billion in revenue. The firm was delisted from the London Stock Exchange after it was acquired by Caesars, so more up-to-date revenue numbers have not been published yet.
6. Barstool Sports
Headquarters: New York City, United States Founder(s): David Portnoy Year Founded: 2003
Barstool Sports is one of the most popular sports-related media brands in North America. Its site attracts millions of viewers every month while podcasts such as Pardon My Take have acquired an extensive and loyal following.
Part of the reason why Barstool is so popular is the nonchalant content it publishes as well as the various scandals (and thus attention) that its founder Dave Portnoy has accumulated over the years. He is currently facing accusations of sexual misconduct from a number of women.
Barstool has leveraged its follower base to launch its own sportsbook app back in September 2020. The launch was made possible vis-a-vis its partnership with Penn National Gaming, which eventually plans to completely acquire Barstool Sports (it currently owns 36 percent of the company).
Barstool’s sports gambling app handled $775 million in 2021. Its market share, excluding Nevada, is currently equal to about 12 percent, making it one of the leading sportsbook providers in the United States. Its biggest market, at least right now, is Pennsylvania.
Sources: Penn National Gaming
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, United States Founder(s): Rush Street Interactive Year Founded: 2019
BetRivers is being operated by Rush Street Interactive (RSI), which has previously been operating various iGaming sites, such as PlaySugarHouse.com, before venturing out into the sports betting space. The firm, furthermore, became the first U.S. company to launch a regulated online sportsbook in Latin America.
It launched BetRivers in August 2018 and has since expanded into 13 states plus Ontario, Canada. In some instances, it has partnered with local casino operators such as Rivers Casino Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) to get the product off the ground.
BetRivers currently accounts for less than 5 percent of all online sports betting in the United States. RSI generated $488.1 million in revenue during the full year of 2021. This, however, also entails income derived from its other web properties such as PlaySugarHouse.
8. FOX Bet
Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Founder(s): The Stars Group Year Founded: 2019
FOX Bet was launched in September 2019. It became the first media organization in the United States to launch a gambling platform.
The offering itself was launched in partnership with The Stars Group (TSG), a gambling provider operating sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. TSG was sold to FanDuel owner Flutter in a deal worth $6 billion not long after.
The two companies would be able to leverage the reach of FOX Sports, which owns rights to some of the world’s biggest sports leagues -such as the NFL. Fox had previously invested $236 million into TSG in exchange for a 4.99 percent stake.
Right now, FOX and Flutter are engaged in an extensive legal battle after the two parties failed to reach an agreement that would enable FOX to acquire 18.6 percent of FanDuel at a valuation of $11.2 billion.
FOX Bet is currently available in a handful of states across the nation. It accounts for less than one percent of the U.S. online betting market outside of Nevada. Nevertheless, given the reach of the underlying media business, they certainly shouldn’t be counted out.
Headquarters: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England Founder(s): Denise Coates, John Coates, Peter Coates Year Founded: 2000
Bet365 is Europe’s leading online gambling provider. In August 2019, it expanded into the United States by launching in New Jersey by partnering with Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. It, furthermore, competes against FanDuel in Colorado, New York, as well as Ontario, Canada.
The firm itself is still being owned and led by its founders, more precisely by co-CEOs and siblings Denise and John Coates. Their father, Peter Coates, had founded a catering business whose proceeds were used to launch a radio station, acquire multiple local betting shops, and even purchase the football club Stoke City FC.
His daughter Denise would end up working in one of those betting outlets. In January 2000, after receiving a loan from her father, she launched the gambling site whose domain she purchased from eBay for £10,000.
Together, they grew the business, which entails sports betting, online casinos, poker, and more, to $3.7 billion in annual revenues (2021). Denise Coates, the firm’s highest-paid director, was awarded £250 million during that same timeframe. More than 4,000 people are employed by bet365 on top of that.
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia, United States Founder(s): Adam Wexler, Jay Deuskar Year Founded: 2015
PrizePicks is a DFS provider that differentiates itself by allowing players to bet on an athlete’s performance. Instead of simply picking a team, users can pick up to a handful of athletes and predict whether each player’s statistics or points will go over or under the projected total (set by PrizePicks).
The firm claims to be the largest independently owned daily fantasy sports platform in North America. Given that FanDuel and DraftKings control over 90 percent of the DFS market, this is certainly no surprise.
PrizePicks, much like the other firms on this list, has grown by signing exclusive deals with teams like the Miami Marlins (and by offering dozens of coupons and discounts).
The firm currently covers over 60 percent of the U.S. population while having raised close to $1 million in funding. Over 100 people are employed by PrizePicks.
In the United States alone, online gambling is a market that is currently worth $2 billion and projected to grow by almost 20 percent in the next few years. Therefore, more and more players are entering the field to carve out a niche for themselves.
For once, there are a plethora of other DFS providers such as OwnersBox or Outlast, which are also investing millions into marketing their respective businesses.
New companies and offerings are, furthermore, minted in the sportsbook industry on a regular basis. For instance, firms like Fubo, Borgota, WynnBet, Unibet, and others have all entered the United States gambling market in the past few years.
Lastly, FanDuel is also in competition with any provider that operates physical betting shops. Most of them are located in Nevada, which has legalized sports gambling since 1975.