As sports betting picked up in the US during 2019, gambling companies vied for dominance. FanDuel, owned by European gambling giant Flutter Entertainment, had a secret weapon up its sleeve. It was racing to launch its “same-game parlay” in the US, a betting style that had yet to make an appearance in the market. This innovative feature allowed users to combine bets on multiple events within a single match, referred to as a parlay, and was spread out over several markers for more chances of winning big.
“We started to realize that we had really caught something quite unique here and started to really double down on the investment,” said John Maguire, the leader of the team at Sportsbet that developed the product.
FanDuel released the product in September 2019 with the NFL, and then the NBA. By its fifth month available, adoption had ticked up to about 5% of the online sports betting wagered on FanDuel. When the pandemic interrupted live sports for a few months in 2020, FanDuel capitalized on the moment to make the same-game parlay the star of its ad campaigns. This move paid off as the product grew from 5% to 10% of FanDuel’s bets when the NBA resumed play in July 2020.
Today, nearly all of FanDuel’s competitors have their versions of this bet type. This has stirred up an “arms race” amongst the US sportsbooks, all trying to outdo each other in the competitive gambling market.
The same-game parlay has been a crucial factor in propelling FanDuel to the forefront of the betting market. It has led the way in garnering high percentages of gross gaming revenue compared to its rivals.
The product has also helped boost FanDuel’s top line in the fiercely competitive industry. Parlays are higher-risk, higher-reward bets since you’re stacking odds against yourself. They translate into higher margins for operators. From each dollar wagered, FanDuel claims it makes about 50% more in gross gaming revenue than its competitors because of the popularity of the product.
Today, while nearly all of FanDuel’s competitors have their versions of this bet type, the same-game parlay branding that FanDuel has since trademarked has stuck. This has further deepened their stronghold in the betting market. So, what began as a move to gain a competitive edge at a crucial time in the betting market has now become the go-to strategy for US sports betting. This product has pushed the features and options for betting to new heights, and remains an industry game changer.