DraftKings Wagers Going Public Again. Will It Pay Off This Time?

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Back in 2017, DraftKings had an idea: merge with FanDeal to create the biggest online sports- and fantasy-betting platform in the U.S.

But the deal never got off the ground, for the most part because regulators, the Federal Trade Commission in particular, didn’t approve of the merger.

Fast forward some two years and DraftKings is at it again, this time announcing plans to merge with sports-betting and gaming technologies company SBTech and go public via a ready-to-trade special-purpose acquisition company called Diamond Eagle  (DEAC) - Get Report.

The $3.3 billion deal, first announced in October, will make DraftKings the first and only pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the U.S.

Diamond Eagle, set up by veteran media executive Jeff Sagansky and advised by former MGM  (MGM) - Get Report CEO Harry Sloan, has $500 million in cash ready to go.

It also has some big-name backers, including Capital Research and Management Co., Wellington Management Co. and Franklin Templeton, who have collectively committed to putting $304 million into the new company.

On closing, Diamond Eagle will change its name to DraftKings Inc., reincorporate in Nevada and remain Nasdaq-listed under a new ticker symbol. The company will continue to be led by co-founder and CEO Jason Robins, and will retain DraftKings’ current management team.

Based in Boston, DraftKings is the country's biggest daily fantasy sports provider in terms of entry fees and revenue. It offers contests in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, stock car racing, mixed martial arts, soccer, Canadian football, and eSports.

SBTech supplies world-leading online bookmakers and white-label operators with sports betting and iGaming platform solutions.