In a wildly successful launch, FanDuel’s first brick and mortar sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey sold more than $1 million in tickets during the venue’s opening weekend.
The FanDuel-branded sportsbook at the Meadowlands – the closest legal betting establishment to New York City – opened for business on Saturday, July 14, exactly one month after New Jersey’s legal sports betting industry went live. The ceremonial first bet was placed by former state senator Ray Lesniak, an influential figure in New Jersey politics who championed the legalization of sports betting and online gambling during his tenure.
Lesniak placed a winning wager on France to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but his $50 flier was a drop in the bucket when compared to the seven-figure handle taken by the Meadowlands during the sportsbook’s opening weekend.
In an interview with NJTV, Meadowlands chairman Jeff Gural revealed that the FanDuel sportsbook met its internal projections:
“Our goal was to do over $1 million for the weekend.
I know we were at $560,000 on Saturday and before I went to sleep last night we were at $465,000 or something for Sunday, so I was very pleased.”
Founded in 2009, FanDuel emerged as one of the world’s two leading daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites along with DraftKings. The New York-based company was acquired by Irish bookmaking conglomerate Paddy Power Betfair in May of this year, and by June, the newly formed FanDuel Group secured a partnership to facilitate the Meadowlands’ expansion from racebook to sportsbook.
At the time, Matt King – who serves as chief executive officer for the FanDuel Group – offered his take on the Meadowlands deal:
“I can think of no better place to open than the Meadowlands.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is representative of our commitment to creating a best-in-class experience for sports fans everywhere. The way that people interact with sports is changing.”
We are on the cusp of something that will be dramatic and will be transformational of how people engage with the teams they love. We’re proud to be on the forefront of that.”
Online wagering was included within the Garden State’s sports betting bill, but no operators have launched as of yet. FanDuel Group is undoubtedly positioned to capitalize on the new regulations given the company’s extensive DFS database.
Flush with cash from the Paddy Power Betfair purchase, FanDuel Group is also setting its sights on running an online casino in addition to online sports betting in New Jersey.
Just days after its first brick and mortar sportsbook opened its doors, FanDuel Group revealed plans to run a dual online casino / sportsbook. The iGaming platform would operate under the Golden Nugget Atlantic City licensing group, which already includes the Betfair NJ online casino.
According to FanDuel Group, leading iGaming software providers GAN and IGT have been hired on to service the site, which is expected to launch in early September to coincide with Week 1 of the upcoming NFL regular season.
King spoke about the partnership with GAN in comments made to the Associated Press:
“The integration by GAN of our sports betting system is a reflection of GAN’s flexible technology platform, ‘can-do’ attitude and their overall commitment.”
King’s counterpart at GAN, chief executive officer Dermot Smurfit, confirmed that the U.K.-based company would soon expand its existing presence in New Jersey:
“Online sports betting ‘go-live’ preparations for FanDuel are well advanced and we remain confident in launching integrated sports betting alongside our existing internet casino later this year.”