FOX Bet, a Flutter Entertainment sportsbook, officially shut down its real-money operations on Monday, including its operation as one of the legal, regulated Colorado sportsbooks.
A joint release between Flutter and Fox Corporation was issued early Monday morning in the U.S. announcing “a phased closure” that will take place for the next month. That confirmed a report by Bloomberg from late Friday afternoon.
The operator’s sites in Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are no longer taking wagers. According to an email sent to accountholders, all accounts can be accessed through the end of August.
FOX Bet’s websites for Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania noted that sportsbook funds were available through the PokerStars online casino and poker sites in those states.
FOX Bet History in Colorado Sports Betting
The Stars Group launched FOX Bet in 2019 through a partnership with the media conglomerate, but Flutter purchased TSG a year later. With Flutter also owning FanDuel – which operates FanDuel Colorado and sports betting in many other states – FOX Bet struggled to gain market share.
Fox will retain branding rights for potential future use. The company plans to launch a new free-play FOX Super 6 game later this year. In addition, the media company continues to hold a 2.5% stake in Flutter and maintains the rights to buy a nearly 20% share in FanDuel.
The demise of FOX Bet is the latest in a string of small operator shutdowns in the past year.
Other Colorado Sportsbooks Closing
Last October, Fubo Sportsbook shut down its operations in Arizona, Iowa and New Jersey after it could not find a strategic partner. A month later, MaximBet ended its run in Indiana as well as its time as a Colorado betting apps option.
Since June, Maverick, Sky Ute and Elite sportsbooks ceased operating in Colorado, though Elite remains open in Iowa. And earlier this month, New Jersey ordered PlayUp to shut down its operations in New Jersey after gaming officials there revoked the Australian-based operator’s license. PlayUp has since suspended its sports betting app in Colorado as well.
FOX Bet Comeback Unlikely
Though Fox retains the rights to the FOX Bet name, the odds seem against a return of the sportsbook. Even with the pull of the FOX brand and the company’s sports broadcasting operations, it failed to compete nationwide with the likes of BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings or FanDuel, its corporate cousin.
On Monday Colorado reported its June numbers; see all about Colorado sports betting handle and revenue for the latest.
In Michigan, FOX Bet reported an online handle of $10.7 million for the first six months of 2023. That’s a little more than 0.5% of the total bet on sports in that state this year. Its adjusted revenue of $722,627 represented 0.6% of the market share among 15 operators.
The numbers weren’t much better in Pennsylvania. FOX Bet's $74.9 million handle for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which ended in June, represented 1.1% of the online handle in the Keystone State, and the $5.3 million in gross taxable revenue was 1.2% of the overall revenue reported by the sportsbooks licensed there.
FOX Bet’s inability to generate higher market shares is likely a warning sign for other networks – ESPN, in particular – that they might struggle to compete with well-established brands for customer acquisition in the sports betting marketplace.
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