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FanDuel-branded sportsbook expected to come to Fremont hotel

FanDuel’s name will soon be on a downtown Las Vegas casino’s sportsbook pending regulatory approval, officials confirmed Thursday.

Fremont Hotel Casino’s sportsbook will soon be rebranded as FanDuel Sportsbook and include its betting lines, officials with Boyd Gaming, the casino’s operator, said.

The country’s leading sports betting operator is expected to seek licensing regulatory approval at an August meeting. FanDuel’s parent company, Dublin, Ireland-based Flutter Entertainment, is on the Gaming Control Board agenda for approval recommendation on Wednesday.

“We believe the FanDuel Sportsbook would be a great addition to the Fremont and the downtown area, and we look forward to sharing more details following the receipt of required regulatory approvals,” Boyd spokesman David Strow said in a statement.

He declined to say how soon after approval such changes would occur. The move marks a new chapter for the mobile sports betting platform. FanDuel and similar sites, such as DraftKings, were banned by state regulators in October 2015 for their daily fantasy sports program because the state considered it sports wagering and not a game of skill. It forced daily fantasy sites to be licensed sports betting operations if they wanted to continue in Nevada.

FanDuel and DraftKings have grown into top online sports betting apps since the nationwide expansion of legalized sports betting, with FanDuel operating mobile or retail betting, or both, in 17 states.

Las Vegas-based Boyd owns 5 percent of FanDuel. FanDuel operates Boyd’s retail and online sports betting outside of Nevada while Boyd Sports runs retail and online sports betting for Las Vegas-area properties.

Boyd expects to use the partnership in eight of nine other states where the company operates, CEO Keith Smith said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call in late July.

The company estimates the partnership will generate about $30 million this year. It expects that figure to increase once two new markets, Kansas and Ohio, establish regulations and the company begins operations there.

“Our 5 percent ownership of FanDuel is an important strategic asset that will grow more valuable as sports betting expands and FanDuel continues to build on its position as the nation’s leader in online sports betting,” Smith told investors during the July call.

A spokesperson for FanDuel declined to comment Thursday.

The sportsbook is not the only change underway at the Fremont. It’s also undergoing a $50 million renovation to expand the casino floor and add several quick-service restaurants, with work expected to wrap up by the end of 2022.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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