Monday May 16,2016 : IS FANDUEL IN DANGER?
Warning that ongoing regulatory problems in the United States is hampering development.
One of the market leaders among daily fantasy sports providers, FanDuel, could be endangered by negative developments in the regulatory environment in the United States, according to its annual report and the opinion of a respected independent auditor.
Although valued at over GBP 1 billion, the privately-held company has warned that its future operations could be seriously impacted by the situation in the United States, its main market.
In its annual report, Fanduel has confirmed that it has suspended operations in New York, Texas and Nevada pending further legal clarity, and that it faces a number of class action lawsuits regarding its activities.
The company's respected international auditor, Deloitte, has also warned that further negative legality rulings by US states are a possibility.
James Boyle, senior statutory authority, Deloitte, commented: “The potential for such an outcome represents a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt on [FanDuel’s] ability to continue as a going concern.”
Fanduel"s CEO, Nigel Eccles claims that FanDuel Management has always been of the view that the company's activities in the US and Canada are within the law, and says that the company is prepared to "robustly” defend its position…but there are a number of possible outcomes that are beyond its control.
He said that these outcomes could range from clearing the group’s activities as lawful… to it being determined unlawful and prohibited from operating in certain states with the potential for damages to be levied.
“We believe that the investment strategy undertaken will drive the future success and growth of the group, with due consideration of the ongoing litigation issues,” wrote Eccles.
However, the uncertainty and turmoil has created the threat of investor fund raising difficulties..
FanDuel's report also highlights the impact of the lack of legal clarity in the States on payment options, noting that it affects the willingness of a number of credit card and online payment companies to process payments to the business.
However, Eccles remains optimistic, observing that more than twenty US states have drafted legalization declaring or making fantasy sports legal, with the prospect of more to follow.
FanDuel's losses have grown, according to the report, which reveals that although the company experienced record turnover at $87.7 million over the past eighteen months, losses soared to $94 million and the cash balance declined from $274 million to $47.8 million as expenses on marketing and product development increased.
The company reportedly spent $74.5 million over a ten-month period last year on advertising, and $2 million on R&D.
FanDuel's active player numbers were around 1.25 million last June, but that was prior to the current political and media storm around the vertical, starting September 2015.