How The Fox Sports And The Stars Group Deal Impacts WV Sports Betting

Posted on May 16, 2019 - Last Updated on May 17, 2019

Last week, media giant Fox Sports forged a new partnership with The Stars Group (TSG).

TSG is the parent company of the global online sports betting app, BetStars. The deal has the betting world talking and some are saying we are entering a new normal.

Two sports betting products will make their way to prime time later this fall as a result of the agreement.

The Fox Bet sports betting app will allow real-money wagering on sporting events.

Additionally, the deal will spawn a national free-to-play betting game that will award cash prizes. Both products will be available in time for the NFL season.

BetStars is already operating in New Jersey. It also has a deal with Mount Airy in Pennsylvania.

However, the initial focus will be on transitioning BetStars to Fox Bet in the Garden State.

In a press release, Eric Shanks, chief executive officer and executive producer of Fox Sports, made it clear the plan is to launch Fox Bet in available legal sports betting markets.

“FOX Sports is already synonymous with the best live sports events in the country and now we are expanding the way we immerse fans in the sports culture they love.

“Digital sports wagering represents a growing market opportunity that allows us to diversify our revenue streams, connect directly with consumers and expand the reach of the FOX Sports brand.”

Will Fox Bet offer sports betting in West Virginia?

There is a good chance Fox Bet will find a way to launch a sportsbook in West Virginia.

TSG has not received approval for online West Virginia sports betting yet, but if it does, look for Fox Bet, instead of BetStars, to make an appearance.

The Stars Group has a partnership with Eldorado Resorts to offer online sports betting in every state where the Eldorado operates.

Eldorado has a presence in 12 states, including West Virginia. Eldorado owns Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort and the casino can have up to three skins as part of its sports betting license.

William Hill provides the retail sports betting operations for Mountaineer and for Hollywood Casino sportsbooks.

As a side note, Fox Sports was part of the funding for DraftKings Sportsbook.

DraftKings and William Hill, along with FanDuel Sportsbook, recently received approval for online sports betting in the Mountain State.

A look inside the Fox Sports and TSG deal

The deal is said to be worth $236 million. Fox will initially acquire a 5% stake in TSG. Additionally, the company has an option to purchase up to 50% of TSG’s US business within the next 10 years.

There is speculation the low initial stake is to avoid Fox from having to go in front of various state regulators. They won’t be able to avoid it if they choose to utilize their option, though.

Fox will receive affiliate fees and brand licenses while TSG will have exclusive access to Fox Sports trademarks.  TSG will also commit to a minimum advertising budget on Fox networks.

The 25-year agreement ensures this media and sports betting marriage will have plenty of time to spread its wings around the nation.

Besides West Virginia, the Eldorado partnership with TSG alone will give Fox Bet entry into:

  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi

Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group said:

“We believe this strategic partnership uniquely positions us to build a leading betting business in the U.S., which represents one of the most exciting long-term growth opportunities for our company.

“Leveraging our proven media partnership strategy with Sky Sports in the UK, we are excited to partner with FOX Sports to integrate wagering into sports media and drive customer acquisition and retention in the U.S.”

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Way Yuhl

Way Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger. Way recently left his position as a Business professor at Clark University to write full-time while traveling the world. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BA in Geography. You can learn more about his travels at nomadingabout.com.

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