Eccles returns to betting scene with decentralised BetDEX

Nigel Eccles, the co-founder of FanDuel, has announced the launch of his new business venture BetDEX Labs – a decentralised sports betting exchange built on the blockchain rails of Solana (SOL). 

BetDEX is co-founded by Eccles and former FanDuel senior engineers Varun Sudhakar (CEO) and Stuart Tonner (CTO).  

Eccles posted on LinkedIn that the venture would be welcoming FanDuel Director of Talent Acquisition Andy Murray alongside the engineering team of Pawel Witek, Drew Alexander Baird Spencer and Ewan Meldrum – forming BetDEX’s enterprise team.

Light on context, BetDEX brands itself as ‘the world’s first decentralized sports betting exchange’ – a tagline that will likely be contested by other blockchain-led betting ventures.

Being built on the ultra-fast blockchain of Solana, BetDEX aims to deliver a decentralised betting exchange, enabling users to benefit from “low transaction costs while eliminating counterparty risk”.

An industry pioneer, Eccles and his wife Lesley co-founded FanDuel in 2009, launching the US market’s first daily fantasy sports (DFS) business, compliant with PASPA laws.

Securing +$400 million in venture capital, Eccles would lead the expansion of FanDuel DFS across US states, competing in a multi-million market battle against fierce rival DraftKings.

Eccles departed FanDuel in 2017, a year prior to the Supreme Court’s repeal of federal PASPA laws that allowed states to liberalise their sports betting markets.

PASPA’s repeal saw FanDuel snapped up by Paddy Power Betfair (legacy Flutter Entertainment) for $470 million – a takeover that Eccles and co-founders contested, accusing PPB and venture capital investors of purposely undervaluing to deny enterprise founders their compensation.

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