FanDuel Goes All In On Atlanta Hub Despite Lack of Legalized Georgia Sports Betting

FanDuel Goes All In On Atlanta Hub Despite Lack of Legalized Georgia Sports Betting

FanDuel’s new IT and product development hub is officially up and running in the Atlanta marketplace, with 400 employees currently working in the new Midtown location. 

In May 2021, FanDuel estimated the location would create around 900 jobs, and the operator is already nearly halfway there.

The location is not a sportsbook, as the legalization of Georgia sports gambling appears to be a ways off. 

Rather, this new 68,000-square-foot complex was designed to support both the hybrid workstyles of the FanDuel Tech and Product teams, as well as supporting customer services agents during the NFL season, according to FanDuel Director of Publicity Kevin Hennessy.

New York-based FanDuel also claims the significant commitment to the Atlanta marketplace is not a nudge to Georgia politicians to fast track legalized sports betting. 

The focus here is technology and innovation, and the hub’s development includes an agreement with the state’s higher education system to train students for careers in the tech industry. 

Sarah Butterfass, the company’s chief product officer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year that FanDuel was drawn to Georgia because of a diverse talent pool and proximity to other tech companies. She added that the company has had significant growth in technology hiring. 

It is unclear what tax credits and other incentives the sports betting firm will receive at this time.

All the Bells and Whistles

So what does this new hub have to showcase? 

The single-floor plan sits in the Ponce City Market building, a growing live, work, play development in the Midtown area. 

The building was originally an old warehouse for Sears (and at one time the largest brick building in the Southeast). It also served as City Hall East for several years. 

The FanDuel floor connects directly to the Atlanta Beltline, which offers a walking route to many Atlanta neighborhoods, breweries, restaurants, and venues. 

As for the hub itself, FanDuel has built 22 different types of seats and spaces. There are 284 workstations (184 in collaborative pods, 100 as open space workstations). There are 10 video conference booths, 24 meeting rooms, three presentation rooms and nine “scrum” areas. 

There is also a 15,000square-foot "collaboration zone" that has Beltline views. 

Finally, the hub also houses a mock sportsbook with prototype machines that can simulate the full retail experience.

What’s Next For Georgia Sports Betting?

When FanDuel announced plans for the hub early last year, there was the possibility that sports betting would eventually be on the statewide ballot for Georgia voters. 

However, despite the new presence of an industry titan like FanDuel setting up shop, legalized sports betting in the Peach State still appears to be a long way down the road. 

At the end of March, Rep. Ron Stephens, one of the biggest backers of sports betting in Georgia, tried again in the House with one bill on gambling in general and another on sports betting. 

But neither gained enough traction to pass before the Legislature adjourned for 2022. 

The state has no tribal casinos, so legislation has to be created from scratch, and BetGeorgia previously reported there has been no back-dealing between politicians and tribes as has occurred in other states.

One silver lining of FanDuel making its presence known in the south? The company becomes the latest advocate for sports betting in a market that has already heard support from its popular local teams, including the Braves, Hawks, Falcons and Augusta National Golf Club.

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Author

Thomas Leary is a news editor and writer for BetGeorgia.com. He previously spent six years at Sports Business Journal, where he helped identify emerging sectors across sports business, such as legalized gambling, and helped launch a digital newsletter division. Thomas lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife Emmie and their dog, Pickles.

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