The Supreme Court says it is OK to gamble on sports. Or rather, it said states cannot block the gambling. If any two organizations benefit from this, betting sites FanDuel and DraftKings do, as they saw their businesses hampered by many state regulations. The valuation of each, which has been set at just above $1 billion, could certainly rise closer to $3 billion. The new ruling means that much. State after state will move to make online betting legal because of the positive tax implications.
Each company is called a unicorn, which means a private start-up company worth over $1 billion. It is hard to set valuations on these because their stock prices are set by small private markets and rounds of financing.
DraftKings raised $200 million in 2015, which puts its valuation at $2 billion. State restrictions on betting likely cut that down until the new Supreme Court decision. FanDuel’s value was put just over $1 billion in 2015 as its raised money as well. It has been financed by well-heeled investors, including Time Warner, Comcast and Google Capital. Once again, the valuation almost certainly was damaged by state betting laws.
It is very hard to peg the revenue of the two companies. In 2016, the number for DraftKings was put at about $150 million for the year. The FanDuel figure has been put about $25 million higher. Since 2016, the revenue of each may have been cut by state laws. Additionally, every media report that estimates the financials of the two companies shows that both have lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Their valuations are based much more on future promise than current profit and loss statements.
Recently, the illegal sports annual betting pool was estimated as high as $150 billion. After millions of dollars in advertising, brand growth and large user bases, DraftKings and FanDuel are as well-positioned as any companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court ruling. Their revenue as about to take a sharp move higher. And their $1 billion to $2 billion valuations will rise sharply, probably right away. If either of the companies decides to raise more money, investors should expect $3 billion as they become free to operate around the country.