According to a press release from Flutter Entertainment, Fox Bet has effectively shut down operations in the state of Michigan. The news broke on July 30th, 2023, when Flutter Entertainment and Fox Corporation announced the decision to close up shop on FOX Bet, its sports betting platform. The next day, the phased closure of FOX Bet’s operations began. The phased closures will unfold differently across each state, but FOX Bet has already stopped accepting wagers in all US markets.
Flutter Entertainment is based in Dublin and acquired The Stars Group US in 2020. As part of the acquisition, Flutter gained a significant stake in FOX Bet, the online sportsbook brand. PokerStars was another brand that came with the Stars Group package. PokerStars did well for Flutter, but the same wasn’t true for the FOX Bet brand. Flutter also owned nearly 95% of FanDuel and likely didn’t put as much energy toward the FOX Bet brand. After the decision was made to shut down FOX Bet, it was reported that Flutter and Fox Entertainment went back and forth on Flutter’s desire to buy out FOX’s option to acquire an 18.6% stake in FanDuel. For now, it seems as though Fox will retain the option to purchase the stake in FanDuel in the future. If they decide to make the purchase this year, the price would be at least $3.72 billion. There is a 5% annual escalator on its purchase price.
Fox released a statement last week about the arbitration process stating, “Fox is pleased with the fair and favorable outcome of the Flutter arbitration. Fox has no obligation to commit capital towards this opportunity unless and until it exercises the option. This optionality over a meaningful equity stake in the market leading U.S. online sports betting operation confirms the tremendous value Fox has created as a first mover media partner in the U.S. sports betting landscape.”
On FOX Bet’s website, they blamed the sudden closure on “commercial reasons” and that, “FOX Bet has decided to shut down its business as of August 31st, 2023. FOX Bet will no longer be operating its Sportsbook.”
The official press release can be found here. For FOX Bets players, account access will be available until August 31st, 2023. There you can withdraw funds or choose to have your money moved to the PokerStars Casino and Sportsbooks Apps. If you don’t access your account before August 31st, don’t sweat it because you can access your account still through the PokerStars and PokerStars Casino Apps. If you have trouble accessing your account, a customer service agent can assist you by emailing email@example.com.
Why Did FOX Bet End Operations?
It’s unknown for sure, but it’s likely Flutter Entertainment decided to shut down FOX Bet to help further consolidate its Stars Group brand. Flutter could just be putting future resources and energy into its PokerStars Casino and Sportsbook operations.
The Fox Corporation and Flutter Entertainment will still have ties, however. As mentioned earlier, “FOX will continue to hold its option to acquire 18.6% of FanDuel and in addition holds a 2.5% stake in Flutter.”
All four US states where FOX Bet Sportsbook was available have all stopped taking wagers (Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado). The sites will be completely unavailable starting August 31st.
What Sportsbook Will Take Its Place?
It’s anyone’s guess as to who will replace Fox Bet, but we know for sure another brand is coming. With only one slot available for a new sportsbook in Michigan, it will be a competitive run for the next Michigan sportsbook. PokerStars, bet365, and Circa Sports are just a few of the books that have expressed interest in Michigan’s sports betting market.
Mac Daniel is a writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com