Flutter and FOX confirm FOX Bet closure on Aug. 31

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Flutter Entertainment and FOX Corporation have confirmed that the FOX Bet sports betting platform will close in the next month. 

The closure will happen in a phased approach throughout August, with the entire platform closing by Aug. 31. Fox Bet informed customers overnight that, effective immediately, FOX Bet will stop accepting bets.

A statement from Flutter read: “Flutter Entertainment and FOX Corporation, announce today the decision to close sports betting platform FOX Bet. A phased closure of Fox Bet’s operations will take place between 31 July and 31 August 2023.

“Flutter operated FOX Bet as part of The Stars Group US along with the US-facing operations of PokerStars. Flutter will retain ownership of PokerStars, in addition to US sports betting market leader FanDuel. FOX will retain future use of the FOX and FOX Bet brands, including FOX Bet Super 6, and intends to launch an all-new FOX Super 6 game later this summer.”

Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate launched FOX Bet in 2019 in a joint venture with The Stars Group to attack the regulated sports betting market and free-to-play games space in the US. Flutter subsequently bought The Stars Group in 2020, creating this business relationship.

FOX Bet was live in New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

However, Flutter’s flagship US brand FanDuel quickly established itself as a market leader in the US sports betting space, meaning that the parent group’s investment was not focused on FOX Bet. 

Meanwhile, the relationship between the two parent firms took a turn for the worse when they ended up in court over FOX’s 18.6% option in FanDuel. Flutter, which merged its US business with FanDuel in 2018, raised its FanDuel holding to 95% in the $14.18 billion December deal and FOX helped to complete the deal. 

Flutter argued that Fox should have paid a fair value for the 18.6% option had to be in line with a $20 billion valuation, rather than the $11.2 billion previously implied valuation. 

A US court ruled that Flutter was indeed correct in its argument, ordering FOX to pay $4.1 billion for the FanDuel stock, should it wish to take up its option which expires in December 2030.

Despite the closure of FOX Bet in the next month, both parties confirmed that FOX will continue to hold its 18.6% option of FanDuel and will continue to hold a 2.5% stake in Flutter overall.