FanDuel CEO Matt King to Step Down
FanDuel, one the Daily Fantasy Sports pioneers, has announced that Matt King, their CEO since 2017, will be leaving the company but will stay on while the search for his replacement is conducted. Flutter Entertainment, FanDuel’s parent company, made the announcement, indicating that King’s decision was personal and was unrelated to the state of the business.
It’s interesting timing for King, as Flutter reportedly has plans to take FanDuel public through an IPO, possibly as early as this summer. Flutter completed its purchase of FanDuel in 2018, which was excellent timing given that the Supreme Court of the United States repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act the same year.
Under PASPA, Nevada was the only state where betting on sports was legal, but with its repeal, all states were empowered to make their own decision on whether to allow the practice. FanDuel, along with its primary competitor DraftKings, had grown the online Daily Fantasy Sports space and were well positioned to take advantage of the growth in legal wagering in sports.
As more states passed legislation making sports betting legal and awarded licenses for sportsbook operations, FanDuel was able to use its platform to successfully implement sites in multiple jurisdictions. With wagering on sports legal in only half the states and Florida and Texas still in the wings, there is plenty of room for growth.
King oversaw the move from DFS into sportsbook operations and in his statement, he intimated that he had done his job, which was to ensure that FanDuel was “well positioned for the next chapter of its growth”. He also mentioned his entrepreneurial drive, which may indicate that he plans on working with or developing a start up operation.
Fox has an option to purchase 18.5% of FanDuel, which includes the FoxBet and Pokers Stars portion of the business, and is in arbitration with Flutter over the valuation of the option given the parent company’s IPO plans. There’s no indication that anything related to that issue had any bearing on King’s decision to step down at this time.
FanDuel is currently operating online sportsbooks in the following states:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Access to place a wager is restricted to bettors that are physically within the states’ borders at the time of the bet and the location is verified using geocoding technology, which utilizes GPS and other online tools so that state regulations can be adhered to. FanDuel’s ten state footprint is certain to grow and the IPO will most likely be a windfall for Flutter.
As for King, he reportedly cashed out after Flutter purchased FanDuel, which means his departure has little or no financial impact on the company and that he probably has plenty of money to bankroll whatever entrepreneurial venture he desires. He didn’t need to wait around for the IPO, at least from a financial perspective, so his timing probably makes sense as things will definitely change when the company goes public.