Casino giant Caesars are reportedly considering a move to bid for FanDuel, a major competitor in the US online casino space. Interest is reportedly fueled by the fact that FanDuel’s primary owner, Flutter, could be negatively impacted by an upcoming government white paper from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Flutter owns 95% of FanDuel, and they may fear that the white paper, which covers a number of elements relating to gambling in the UK, including placing financial limits on bets as well as sponsorship opportunities in the sporting arena, could hit them hard. This could make them a sitting duck when it comes to offers.
Caesars would have to dig deep to make an offer, and that goes against its apparent need to cut costs and reduce its debts. Interest in FanDuel is one thing, but the chances of buying Flutter as a whole, and remember they also own Paddy Power, seems very unlikely indeed, given the value of that particular asset.
These same concerns could lead to an interest in Entain, who owns Ladbrokes, while 888 Holdings could also be primed for a bid.
The White Paper Review is likely to lead to significant regulatory shifts, with many assuming this, in turn, will lead to market consolidation as the relevant parties seek to steady their respective ships.
Remember, Caesars bought the US assets of William Hill for around $4 billion in 2021, and things have panned out well both in sports betting and offline brick-and-mortar casinos, but a move of this magnitude may not come to fruition.
Whichever way you look at it, the likely effects of the publication of the UK Gambling White Paper will be far-reaching and, as is frequently the case in online casino and sports betting worlds, likely to see its repercussions ripple across borders and continents.