Execs Believe FanDuel Sportsbook Still No. 1 Despite Surge From DraftKings

Written By Grant Lucas on November 9, 2023
A customer navigates the FanDuel Sportsbook app, which Flutter Entertainment contends is still the top sports betting app in the country despite DraftKings saying that it is

Since February 2022, the second month of legal online sports betting in New York, the state has been dominated by two sportsbooks.

Of those two, FanDuel Sportsbook held the top spot in terms of accepted bets. For 17 straight months. Now, though, the platform has seen rival DraftKings Sportsbook take the top spot.

When seeing marketing from FanDuel, you will notice that the operator dubs itself as “America’s #1 Sportsbook.” Now, though, coverage has suggested that DraftKings could rightfully take that moniker after its performance in recent months.

Flutter Entertainment, however, says otherwise. FanDuel, one can infer from its parent company’s recent earnings call, is still the top dog – including in the NY sports betting industry.

DraftKings says they’re winning, FanDuel says otherwise

Since New York online sports betting launched in January 2022, FanDuel and DraftKings have owned the space. The two NY sportsbooks have combined for $20.84 billion in handle, accounting for 71.5% of the market, and $1.97 billion in gross gaming revenue, representing a 77% share.

They have been 1-2 since February 2022, with FanDuel Sportsbook NY ripping off 17 straight months of boasting the highest monthly handle among NY sports betting apps. But over the past four months, DraftKings Sportsbook NY has owned the top handle spot three times, including in each of the last two reported months. (At the time of this writing, the New York State Gaming Commission has yet to release October results.) Nationwide, reports suggest that DraftKings has grabbed the No. 1 position with a 47% revenue market share.

In a conference call with analysts recently, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said: “We are winning,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told analysts in a recent conference call.

Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, however, does not hold the same belief. The Flutter CFO told analysts that the more reliable metric to illustrate success is net gaming revenue (NGR), urging state regulators to report this data point as it “doesn’t take account of generosity.”

In that regard, Edgecliffe-Johnson said, FanDuel is up 5% year-over-year to 47% NGR.

“And,” the CFO said, “I think that demonstrates our strength as our NGR share is more than DraftKings – and that’s the key metric.”

What makes FanDuel confident it’s still sports betting’s top dog?

As with any legal sportsbook, the arrival of college football and the NFL provides a boost. FanDuel integrated new product innovations like Parlay Hub and expanded its same-game parlay prop offerings.

As a result, Flutter noted during the call, FanDuel has reported stronger retention rates than its competitors.

“We have not altered our posture in the market as a result of what other people are doing,” Flutter CEO Peter Jackson. “We’ve always tended to be very focused on acquiring as much businesses as we ever can do.”

He said that legal sports betting features “incredibly intensive competition.” But he noted that FanDuel boasts a “long list of advantages” in the space.

“We have always had a leadership position from a product perspective,” he said, adding: “We’re still pushing hard on innovation and we’re investing right across the stack.”

Photo by FanDuel Group
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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