Paddy Power Betfair eyes FanDuel acquisition

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Paddy Power Betfair plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides online interactive sports betting services in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, the Unites States, and internationally.

"Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty as to whether agreement will be reached, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction", the company said in a statement. Sports gambling could begin in a matter of weeks in casinos and racetracks in New Jersey, which instigated the legal fight by repealing its gambling ban.

The shares rose 6.6% to £82.70 on the news of the bookmaker's plans for U.S. expansion, just days after a court ruling that could unlock the betting market in the world's largest economy.

Paddy Power already has a US-based operation, TVG, the largest online horse racing business in the U.S., with account holders in thirty-five states and a TV channel, as well as an online casino and horse racing betting exchange in New Jersey.

FanDuel was part of merger discussion past year with rival DraftKings but the plan was scrapped in July after a legal challenge by the US Federal Trade Commission. Legal Sports Report (LSR), which first reported that Paddy Power Betfair was close to completing the deal, said it appeared likely to be below that valuation. FanDuel said it intends to enter the sports betting business following the Supreme Court ruling. Earlier today, the company itself confirmed the rumoured deal, saying that it is now in merger talks with FanDuel. In the same way we revolutionized fantasy sports, we will bring innovation to the sports betting space. FanDuel and DraftKings, the market leaders in the USA fantasy sports industry, ended merger talks previous year over concerns that the Federal Trade Commission would not look favorably on the deal.

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