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Caesars picks up a fantasy sports platform

Confirming the major shift in the US market of traditional land-based operators moving big into the online market, the latest news is that Caesars Entertainment has made a strategic investment in the daily fantasy sports platform SuperDraft.

Operating across seven professional sports in more than 35 states, SuperDraft will join Caesars' existing online brands; namely, World Series of Poker, Caesars Online Casino, and, upon the acquisition's close, William Hill, as part of the firm’s wide offering of mobile and online gaming channels.

Caesars is taking an initial minority equity position with an option to increase its stake over time up to 100% at predetermined levels.

SuperDraft will become one piece of Caesars' single wallet solution, allowing members more options to play both online and in-person, and is expected to be tied to the Caesars Rewards program, offering players credits redeemable for rewards and experiences online or at one of Caesars casino resorts.

"The addition of daily fantasy sports fits seamlessly with our strategic vision for mobile and online sports," said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. "SuperDraft's innovative multiplier game mode is unique in the marketplace, and we believe it offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our position in the sports gaming landscape."

SuperDraft Founder and CEO Steve Wang added, "We're super excited to be part of Caesars' powerful gaming ecosystem. Daily fantasy players deserve a breath of fresh air, and we're here to transform the industry. SuperDraft is now well-positioned to accelerate its growth with financial staying power while broadening its consumer appeal with bigger contests and better rewards to players of all interest levels."

In the press release, Caesars describes the acquisition as “further strengthening its pipeline to customer acquisition and retention for both online and brick-and-mortar.” It is in this sense that it throws light on both the current trend within the US gaming market and the emerging trend within Asia.

Although among the largest firms in the North American market, Caesars is not expected to play a major direct role in the Asian market in the near future. CEO Tom Reeg has made it clear that he is not interested in international expansion at this time, a fact underlined by Caesars’ withdrawal from the Japan IR race. The firm also has an IR that is supposed to be under construction in Incheon, Korea, but building activities there have ceased and chances that the firm will lose its license in that market appear to be rising.

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