Dublin-based bookmaker, Paddy Power Betfair, has made their intentions clear to look into the possibility of expanding their operations in the US via acquisitions.
The company already owns close to 40% of the regulated US online gambling market via its TVG website and its online casino operation in New Jersey. Earlier in the month, it also acquired US fantasy sports company, DRAFT, for an initial $19 million, which could become up to $49 million dependent on the performance of the business over the next four years.
The fantasy sports market offers betting companies in the US the chance to compete in a market where sports betting remains largely illegal and with the market worth an estimated $300 million, Paddy Power Betfair is looking to capture at least a double-digit share of the market.
Further acquisitions in the US will be dependent on how the market opens up and the opportunities that present themselves.
“I think that market has yet to open up properly,” stated Breon Corcoran, chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair. “I would hope we could do more there; it’s a question of legislation and opportunity. There is a lot of appetite to do more if the right thing comes up at the right price.”
The company’s interest in the US comes at a time of “pretty extreme” competition in its main European market which Corcoran said is likely to see the smaller rivals joining forces or otherwise “whither on the vine.”
While Mr Corcoran expressed his satisfaction with the performance of the company since Paddy Power and Betfair merged last year, he commented that it is advantageous at this time to be one of the big players within the European market. He expressed the company’s optimism, saying that the group was “cautious, but guardedly optimistic.”