FOR a company that is so adamant it is not involved in the gambling sector FanDuel has made some massive bets in its time.

The first was choosing to launch what some view as a quasi-gambling business in a country that, with the exception of a limited number of carve outs such as horse racing, outlaws sports betting in practically every state.

FanDuel’s argument is that as its games require skill to play they cannot constitute gambling, which relies on chance. Some states have agreed, meaning it is free to operate in them, but with many still disputing the legality of daily fantasy sports, what had once seemed a highly lucrative market remains restricted.

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That has impacted on FanDuel’s other major bet, which was that it would by now be in such a strong financial position that it would be able to buy out private equity backers Shamrock and KKR.

Having received $70 million from the former in 2013 and $275m from the latter in 2015, FanDuel should have been able to pay a premium to buy those positions back this year.

But its other gamble - that US regulators would unquestioning allow it and DraftKings, which between them control more than 90 per cent of the market, to merge - has failed to pay off.

As a result the private equity backers, which hedged their own bets with a stringent merger-termination agreement that has overridden the buy-out clause, have not only received more equity but greater board clout too.

FanDuel may remain a great business, but it looks like the spoils for creating it are no longer going to be enjoyed to the full by its founders.