Fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings agree to merge

The New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues skate in front of a dasher board advertising the betting website DraftKings at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2015 in New York City.
Image: Bruce Bennett / getty images

That was quite the long game.

Fantasy sports gaming sites DraftKings and FanDuel have agreed to merge, the companies announced Friday. The deal comes after months of anticipation, as DraftKings CEO Jason Robins has spoken openly about the two companies discussing the possibility over the last two years.

Benefits of merging include improving operational efficiencies and lowering costs, the newly combined company said in a press release.

Those savings were needed if either company was going to continue to operate. Both have faced regulatory hurdles and fines. Last month, the companies settled with the state of New York and each agreed to pay $6 million in penalties.

We have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for our customers and this merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a statement.

The agreement came with its own hurdles. According to ESPN, the companies debated on executive leadership, where the company would be headquartered and what the name of the combined company would be.

DraftKings’ Robinswill be CEO and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will become chairman of the board. The companies will be co-headquartered in Boston and New York and will retain their names and branding “for the foreseeable future,” a spokesperson told Mashable.

“While both companies have accomplished much already, this transaction will create a business that can offer a greater variety of offerings, appealing to new users, including the tens of millions of season-long fantasy players that havent yet tried our products,” Eccles said in a statement.

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