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Australian Media Groups May Enter Fantasy Sports Market

Fantasy Sports Platform Moneyball Launched in 2015

US Fantasy Sports operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, may enter the Australian sports betting market in 2016.

Some of Australia's larger media companies have begun talks with betting operators regarding the launch of potential new gaming products in the coming year. A few Australian media groups may enter the Fantasy Sports market in 2016.

Australian Media Companies Investigating Fantasy Sports

According to sources, Seven West Media and News Corp have been in talks with operators regarding their potential investment in fantasy wagering. Operators that have shown interest in pursuing Fantasy Sports are TopBetta, and CrownBet.

TopBetta's chairman, Nick Chan, was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Seven. Should the Fantasy Sports deal partnership be formed, Seven will use its media company to bring in players by marketing Fantasy Sports to their already large audiences, and TopBetta will provide the gambling license along with the necessary gaming platform. The collaboration of media companies with betting or gaming companies is an excellent combination for Fantasy Sports platforms.

Earlier this year, Moneyball, a fantasy sports platform, was launched by James Fitzgerald and Rax Huq, both former employees of Fairfax Media. Fantasy Sport games are somewhat similar to the SuperCoach platform run by the Herald Sun or The Daily Telegraph. The main difference between what Moneyball and these media companies offer is that players are charged to enter on Fantasy Sports sites.

What is Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Sports allows those who are participating to place wagers on real-life sports events using fantasy money. Users can also create fantasy sports teams using real players, who will then compete in a fantasy tournament. Players do not wager with real money, rather paying an entry fee to the online Fantasy Sports site, with the winner taking home the pool from users' entry fees.

Fantasy Sports in the US

Fantasy Sports has been particularly visible in the news over the past few months after it became popular in the United States. The two main operators in the US are DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily Fantasy Sports in the United States went from being a $214 million industry in 2013 to a $3.2 billion industry in 2015. Fantasy Sports are legal in all but five states in the US because they are considered games of skill.

In the US, following an incident in which a DraftKings employee won US$350,000 in a FanDuel tournament, the Daily Fantasy Sports industry has been in a decline. Both companies are looking into entering the Australian market in the coming year.