On Sunday, News Corp Australia publication The Australian reported that the Crown Resorts-owned Crownbet was in “advanced talks’ regarding a plan to unveil their new fantasy sports tie-up with Fox Sports in time for the March 24 kickoff of the new Australian Football League season.
The deal would see Crownbet – the AFL’s official wagering partner – provide the fantasy sports technology and the gambling license while Fox Sports would be responsible for marketing and cross promotion via its AFL and National Rugby League coverage.
The fantasy sports product’s scope would reportedly be limited to Fox Sports, with no involvement of News Corp Australia’s print publications like the Herald Sun, which already offers its readers the highly popular Supercoach season-long AFL fantasy product.
Crownbet’s rumored interest in the fantasy sports sector initially surfaced in media reports last December that detailed the Aussie betting and media sectors’ growing awareness of fantasy opportunities. February brought word of a new fantasy partnership between Aussie betting operator TopBetta and Fairfax Media, whose publications include the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.
Australia is one of the most active sports betting markets in the world and thus could serve as an acid test of daily fantasy sports’ ability to capture a significant following when other betting options are widespread. To date, DFS has had its biggest success in the United States, where single-game real-money sports betting is available only in Nevada.
The UK is another mature sports betting market, and while operators like Mondogoal have offered a UK-facing DFS product since 2014, they remain something of an afterthought, at least when compared to traditional online sports betting sites. DraftKings launched its UK-facing business last month but has so far offered little detail regarding the site’s performance.