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The Rise of FanDuel: Dominating the DFS and Sports Betting Industry

FanDuel: The Explosive Growth of Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting

In the world of sports, fans have always loved to make predictions, debate matchups, and put their knowledge of the game to the test. In recent years, the rise of daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting has given fans new and exciting ways to engage with their favorite sports and teams.

One company that has dominated this market is FanDuel, a DFS and sportsbook provider that has taken the industry by storm. In this article, we’ll take a look at FanDuel’s history, growth, and market position as a DFS provider and sportsbook.

We’ll analyze how they came to be the dominant force in the industry, their evolution from a small startup into a household name, their expansion into new markets, and how they’ve leveraged their position as a leader in DFS and sports betting to maintain their dominance.of FanDuel and Its History

FanDuel was founded in 2009 by Nigel Eccles, Tom Griffiths, Lesley Eccles, Rob Jones, and Chris Stafford. Originally called HubDub, the company started as a prediction market that focused on social gaming.

The founders quickly realized that there was a huge demand for daily fantasy sports and pivoted to focus on that market. By 2012, FanDuel had become a full-fledged DFS provider and had raised over $18 million in funding.

As FanDuel’s popularity grew, so did the size of their prize pools and the number of users on their platform. In 2013, they achieved a major milestone when they paid out $10 million in winnings in a single week.

They continued to grow rapidly and by 2015, they had moved headquarters from Edinburgh, Scotland to New York City, NY.

Growth of FanDuel and Relocation of Headquarters

FanDuel experienced dramatic growth in the early years of the DFS industry. By 2015, they had more than one million registered users and were processing over six million entries per week.

That same year, they secured a $275 million investment from venture capital firms, putting their valuation at over $1 billion. FanDuel used this funding to expand their product offerings and invest in new technologies.

In 2017, FanDuel was part of a planned merger with DFS rival DraftKings. However, the merger was canceled after the Federal Trade Commission objected to the consolidation of two major players in the market.

FanDuel remained independent and focused on expanding their offerings to include sports betting. In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting, paving the way for FanDuel to enter the sportsbook market.

FanDuel’s Market Position and Expansion

Dominance in the DFS and Sports Betting Market

FanDuel has established itself as a dominant player in the DFS market, with an estimated 50% market share in a highly competitive industry. The company’s success can be attributed to its user-friendly platform, a wide variety of games, and an aggressive marketing strategy.

FanDuel boasts a massive roster of sports leagues available for DFS play, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and college sports. FanDuel’s dominance is not just limited to DFS.

In 2018, they became one of the first companies to launch a sportsbook in New Jersey, a state that had legalized sports betting after the Supreme Court decision the same year. In just one year, FanDuel Sportsbook became the market leader in New Jersey, with a 43% share of online sports betting revenue.

Expansion to Different States and Revenue Growth

FanDuel has been expanding aggressively since the Supreme Court ruling, now operating in multiple states where sports betting is legal, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. As of 2021, FanDuel’s DFS and sportsbook products are available to over 10 million users across the United States.

Despite the recent coronavirus pandemic, FanDuel’s revenue continues to grow. In 2020, their revenue increased by 31% compared to 2019, a testament to the company’s resilience and adaptability throughout difficult times.


FanDuel is a dominant force in the DFS and sports betting market. Their origins as a prediction market and pivot to daily fantasy sports propelled them to rapid growth and ultimately dominance in the industry.

Their expansion into the sportsbook market and aggressive expansion to multiple states have solidified their position as a market leader. With a user-friendly platform, a wide variety of games, and an aggressive marketing strategy, it looks like FanDuel is only going up from here.

Sponsorship and Partnerships

FanDuel has not only solidified its position as a dominant DFS and sportsbook provider through aggressive marketing and expansion strategies, but also through a series of successful sponsorship deals and partnerships. Let’s take a closer look at some of their notable deals.

FanDuel’s Sponsorship Deals with Sports Leagues and Celebrities

FanDuel has aligned itself with some of the biggest names in sports, signing partnerships with major leagues including the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. In 2014, FanDuel entered into an exclusive partnership with the Washington Redskins, making them the first team to have an official daily fantasy sports partner.

This deal resulted in FanDuel becoming the presenting sponsor of the Redskins’ fan signals at home games, and the team created a fantasy lounge at FedEx field as part of the agreement. In addition to team partnerships, FanDuel has signed endorsement deals with high-profile athletes such as former NBA player Charles Barkley and football Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter.

These endorsements have helped the company expand its reach and appeal to fans beyond just fantasy sports enthusiasts.

Marketing Campaigns and Endorsements

FanDuel has crafted some memorable and successful marketing campaigns that have helped them stand out in a crowded industry. One of their most famous campaigns was the “FanDuel Sunday Million” that launched in 2014, featuring the chance for players to win one million dollars in prize money.

This advertising campaign propelled FanDuel into the national spotlight and drove significant user growth. FanDuel also has a partnership with sports media giant, Turner Sports.

The deal includes advertising on Turner’s television networks, such as TNT and TBS, during major sporting events like NCAA March Madness. FanDuel has also secured exclusive partnerships with major media companies, such as Bleacher Report and The Ringer, to promote its products.

Competitors of FanDuel

DFS and sports betting has become a highly competitive market, with players such as DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, William Hill, Barstool Sports, BetRivers, FOX Bet, bet365, and PrizePicks all vying to establish their position in the industry.

DraftKings as the Biggest Competitor in DFS and Sports Betting

DraftKings, a DFS provider and sportsbook, is considered the biggest competitor to FanDuel. The two companies have been in a close race for dominance in the market since the inception of DFS.

According to reports, DraftKings had a market share of 50% in 2020, while FanDuel held the remaining share. Despite the failed merger attempt between the two rivals in 2017, both companies have continued to grow and dominate the DFS and sports betting space.

In 2019, DraftKings launched its own online sportsbook in New Jersey, and in 2020 the company partnered with the NFL’s New York Giants, giving them the opportunity to engage with a massive fanbase.

Other Competitors in the Market

FanDuel and DraftKings are the clear leaders in the market; however, other players are working to carve out their slice of this industry. BetMGM, the gaming division of MGM Resorts International, has had significant success with its own sportsbook and DFS offerings.

Caesars Sportsbook, backed by Caesars Entertainment, has also made moves to expand its presence in the industry. Another strong competitor is PointsBet, an Australian-based sportsbook that has successfully entered the US market in recent years.

Newer entrants to the market include Barstool Sports, whose sportsbook is backed by PENN Interactive Ventures, the digital arm of Penn National Gaming. BetRivers, another player in the industry, has set itself apart by focusing on a streamlined user interface that offers fast, easy access to sports betting options.

FOX Bet, a joint venture between FOX Sports and The Stars Group, has leveraged its vast sports media empire and access to expert analysts to promote their sportsbook offering. Lastly, the global sportsbook giant bet365 has been making waves in the US market after gaining approvals to operate in several states.

PrizePicks, a DFS site that offers a unique type of contest format where players compete against the site itself, has also been gaining users and attention throughout the industry.


Overall, FanDuel’s success can be attributed to its innovative approach to daily fantasy sports, aggressive expansion strategies, strong partnerships with sports leagues and media companies, and effective marketing campaigns. The DFS and sports betting industry is highly competitive, however FanDuel’s market position as a leader in the space puts them in a strong position for continued success.

With significant growth opportunities in legal sports betting still on the horizon, it is clear that FanDuel and its competitors will continue to shape the industry in the years to come.

Overview of the Online Gambling Industry

The online gambling industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years, thanks to a combination of factors such as worldwide proliferation of smartphones, internet connectivity and relaxation of regulatory restrictions. According to Statista, the global online gambling market is expected to reach $94 billion by 2024, high from $45.8 billion in 2017.

This article takes an in-depth look at the growth and legalization of online gambling in the United States, emerging competitors, and market trends.

Growth and Legalization of Online Gambling in the United States

Online gambling has taken a long and complicated road to legality in the United States. Before May 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibited sports betting outside of Nevada.

Following the Supreme Court decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the federal ban on sports betting was lifted.

This led to an immediate uptick in online sports gambling, with revenue in the market projected to reach $4 billion by 2023, according to Hookit data. However, despite progress in sports betting, online casino gaming in the United States has been slow to grow.

As of 2021, only a handful of states have legalized online casino gaming, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Many states remain cautious due to the perceived potentially negative social effects associated with online gaming, such as addiction.

Despite the caution in some states, the prospect of increased revenue has boosted efforts towards regulatory change in multiple locales. In states with legal online gambling, revenue has grown briskly, with reports indicating that New Jersey alone generated more revenue from online gambling than from brick-and-mortar casinos in 2020.

Emerging Competitors and Market Trends

As the online gambling industry continues its rapid growth, emerging competitors are disrupting traditional models of online sports betting and casino gaming. In particular, daily fantasy sports have emerged as a major phenomenon throughout the United States, due in no small part to FanDuel and DraftKings.

In some states, such as Arizona and Colorado, DFS has been legalized, paving the way for other states to follow suit. Recently, we’ve seen innovative new entrants such as BetMGM, PointsBet and Barstool Sportsbook offering compelling new products and features, such as sports-themed programming, player prop betting, and greatly enhanced mobile platforms.

These trends are largely focused on fluidly integrating the online gambling experience into everyday life in seamless and enticing ways. Another trend in the industry is a sifting of established online casinos into specialized niches.

For instance, operators like SugarHouse and River Belle are opting to focus solely on sports betting rather than offering an exhaustive online casino experience. The rise of mobile sports betting and online casinos also presents significant opportunities for traditional land-based casino operators seeking access to a broader, younger customer base.

States protect local land-based casinos through high tax rates and strict regional limitations, providing advantages in branding and marketing consistency.


As the global online gambling industry continues to grow, we can expect to see major developments in the industry, with emerging competitors entering the fold and established players moving to consolidate their positions. While the industry faces pushback in certain states, the potential tax revenue it stands to generate in others will likely keep it in the public eye.

Finally, online gambling trends are shifting, with a clear emphasis on mobile accessibility, niche-focused models via sports betting, and more integrated models of player engagement. The online gambling industry has seen significant growth and legalization, particularly in the United States.

The relaxation of regulatory restrictions and the rise of mobile accessibility have played a major role in this expansion. FanDuel has emerged as a dominant player in the DFS and sportsbook market, utilizing strategic partnerships and effective marketing campaigns.

However, they face competition from other key players like DraftKings, as well as emerging competitors such as BetMGM and PointsBet. The industry’s future trends include a focus on mobile integration, niche specialization, and increased partnership opportunities for land-based casinos.

As the industry continues to evolve, it’s clear that online gambling is here to stay, offering new and exciting opportunities for both operators and consumers.

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