The Irish gambling and bookmaking holding company Flutter Entertainment has appointed Amy Howe as head of its FanDuel business as the group is still considering a possible spin-off of the US-based unit. The appointment was confirmed by the chief executive of Flutter, Mr Peter Jackson, who praised Ms Howe for her efforts while leading the operator’s commercial functions after becoming part of the company.
Ms Howe joined the betting giant’s sports betting and daily fantasy sports betting arm at a presidential position in February. Then, in July, she was appointed as interim chief executive of FanDuel. Now, Ms Howe is taking over the position of chief executive officer after the previous boss of FanDuel, Matt King, announced he decided to part ways with the company after four years of leadership.
At the time of Mr King’s departure, the Irish gambling and sportsbook giant revealed that the exodus of the CEO could delay the potential plans for a FanDuel spin-off after a period of considerable growth.
The new FanDuel boss joined the US sports betting business of Flutter Entertainment from Ticketmaster, where she had been serving as a global chief operating officer (COO). While being in the position, Ms Howe was responsible for the transformation and modernisation of Ticketmaster’s ticketing platform.
Ongoing Lawsuit between Flutter and Fox Corporation Could further Delay FanDuel IPO
The US sports betting and daily fantasy sports operation was acquired by Flutter Entertainment in 2018. The business marked quick expansion following the US Supreme Court’s ruling that ended the federal ban on sports betting and allowed states across America to decide on their own whether to add the new form of gambling to their legal markets or not.
The boss of Flutter Entertainment explained that, for the time being, the expansion of the US gambling market was recognised as the “single most exciting opportunity” for the Irish gambling giant. Mr Jackson further noted that Ms Howe’s experience in operating a digital business will be extremely useful, as Flutter Entertainment is willing to grow its positions in the US sports betting market.
As mentioned above, the resignation of Matt King from the CEO position has resulted in a delay in the potential Initial Public Offering (IPO) of FanDuel that had been considered by Flutter Entertainment. The gambling giant has previously shared that it could pursue a listing of a small shareholding in the FanDuel business as a move that could help it bolster its footprint in the newly-liberalized sports betting market in the US.
However, after its US unit’s CEO departure, the Irish gambling group decided to delay the listing until next year.
Reportedly, FanDuel accounted for 89.1% for the full 2020 year and for more than 90% of Flutter Entertainment’s stateside revenue in the first quarter of 2021.
According to unnamed sources of The Telegraph, Mr King’s departure is not the only factor affecting the potential spin-off. A few months ago, sources familiar with the situation noted that the ongoing legal dispute between Flutter Entertainment and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation is likely to have affected the Irish gambling group’s decision to put off the listing, although such rumours have been denied by Peter Jackson.
The lawsuit concerns the price at which Fox Corporation is allowed to exercise its multi-billion-dollar right to purchase an 18.6% stake in the US sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator at a considerably lower price. Flutter Entertainment believes that its US-based asset is currently worth much more than it did at the time when it purchased the business. These claims, however, are rejected by Rupert Murdoch’s company that argues it is supposed to pay a price that is relative to the transaction at the moment it was carried out