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Paddy Power in talks with FanDuel over merger as US relaxes ban on betting

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Gambling site: Nigel Eccles

Gambling site: Nigel Eccles

Gambling site: Nigel Eccles

Paddy Power Betfair has confirmed it is in talks to merge its US business with fantasy sports firm FanDuel, founded by Co Tyrone man Nigel Eccles.

The bookmaker said discussions are under way to "create a combined business to target the prospective US sports betting market".

FanDuel announced that Nigel Eccles was leaving the company in November.

Paddy Power currently has six outlets in the greater Belfast area.

"Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty as to whether agreement will be reached, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction," Paddy Power Betfair said in a stock market announcement.

No financial details of the transaction were given.

The move comes just days after the US relaxed its gambling laws, providing an opening for the likes of William Hill and Paddy Power.

The US Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law which bans gambling on individual sporting events.

States will now be able to individually choose whether to legalise sports betting.

As well as setting up FanDuel with his wife Lesley in Edinburgh in 2009, Mr Eccles, who is originally from Cookstown, is also one of the backers of the Ormeau Baths business hub in Belfast.

FanDuel is backed by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Google Capital and NBC Sports Ventures.

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