After a seven-year absence from Nevada’s legal sports betting market, FanDuel is set to make a comeback after the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved the licensing of Betfair Interactive US LLC’s partnership with Boyd Gaming.
The partnership will provide Betfair (operating as Fanduel) betting odds and betting line activities to sportsbook employees at Boyd Fremont Casino.
The sportsbook will be rebranded as FanDuel Sportsbook and the team will receive a percentage of Fremont Sportsbook’s game revenue. It doesn’t change much in the way it works.
The key question here is whether, through Boyd Gaming, PokerStars (Flutter’s brand) can regain market access in Nevada by allowing FanDuel access to the market. Following the full tilt of the previous drama surrounding PokerStars and the defunct Nevada Gaming Control Board naming PokerStars a ‘bad actor’, the next steps will be under intense scrutiny.
The legal landscape in poker remains elusive. After legislation shut down most online operators, the only online poker operator in Nevada is World Series of Poker NV (‘WSOP NV’). But there is a potential change coming, with BetMGM rumored to be launching BetMGM Poker NV in the near future.
What does this mean for PokerStars?
It is currently unclear whether Flutter’s move to Nevada will allow PokerStars to reapply for a license. The operator may not have to challenge the existing law. Since Nevada is a signatory to a multi-state compact called the Multi-State Internet Gaming Compact, player pools can be shared across states and thereby increase liquidity. If Stars can regain market access, the state (and the company) could compete with Michigan and New Jersey, where the book is already available. Furthermore, there is discussion around Pennsylvania (PA) to join the compact again, given that the company Pokerstars already has access to the market in PA.
Online gaming remains illegal in Nevada, which is heavily focused on landbased customers in casinos. Online or mobile poker has long been a popular product in Nevada. Until now, it’s been monopolized by the WSOP – but that looks set to change with even BetMGM and Flutter/PokerStars coming back for a small slice of the Nevada online pie.