Industry reporters cite FanDuel as tops but think Fanatics could upset status quo

Series of planes with one flying in a different direction signifying disruption
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According to a recent survey of reporters in the sports betting industry, all eyes are on Fanatics but the consensus king of the industry is FanDuel.

Hot Paper Lantern (HPL) Digital Sport surveyed two dozen reporters in the US gaming space, including writers from SBC Americas, and asked their thoughts on the biggest stories of the year, what operators are doing things right, and what the industry needs to focus on as it grows.

When it came to naming the top operator, FanDuel was the consensus #1 in a runaway vote when it comes to innovation. Respondents were asked to rank their top three choices and those choices were awarded three, two, and one point, respectively. FanDuel more than doubled the score of second-place finisher PointsBet. Here were the results:

  • FanDuel: 55 points
  • PointsBet: 24 points
  • DraftKings: 20 points
  • BetMGM: 9 points
  • bet365: 7 points
  • Caesars: 7 points
  • Circa: 7 points

However, when asked about what story reporters think made the biggest industry headlines, Fanatics entering into the market ranked as the biggest story of the year with 21% of the vote. Not far behind it was another story around potential disruption, the rumors that DraftKings would expand its partnership with ESPN.

When polled about what the industry should address, here’s what the reporters surveyed had to say:

The focus on stories about upstarts and potential disruptors makes sense when you look at the responses and see most industry pundits think the US market is desperate for product differentiation and next generation tech.

“In a very nascent industry like sports betting, the media hold a very important position as the group that sits across the entire market, talking to every company and executive on topics ranging from technology, new products, and services, pain points, wins and innovation. While many opinions and anecdotes have been shared on who leads the market, there has never been a definitive study completed to put quantitative and qualitative data behind these ideas,” said CEO of HPL Digital Sport Ed Moed. “As thought leaders in the space, we felt it necessary to create this content but also accentuate this data with commentary and opinions from the most respected and visionary sports betting consultants in the industry. We hope this series of studies and our Media Scoreboard become the industry standard bearer for years to come.”