Billionaire Invests in Star Fantasy Leagues, Fantasy Sports Business

Sep 24, 2014, 13:23 ET from Star Fantasy Leagues

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Fantasy Leagues, an online daily and season long fantasy sports operator, today announced that it has closed on an investment in its business from the private equity firm International Investment and Underwriting, (IIU) founded by Dermot Desmond.

This investment marks the entry of one of the world's most prominent businessmen in both sport and gaming into the burgeoning fantasy sports market in the USA.

"It's fantastic," said Star Fantasy Leagues CEO Zach Stanley. "We're excited to be working with excellent partners that share our vision for the future. We're looking forward to accomplishing great things together as the fantasy sports market continues to grow."

Star Fantasy Leagues is known for its industry leading fantasy sports technology and its strong focus on legal and regulatory compliance in the gaming market. The investment in Star Fantasy Leagues by IIU is significant, and exceeds the $2,000,000 that has already been invested in the business by the Star Fantasy Leagues founders.

"Daily Fantasy Sports is a hugely exciting and rapidly growing area," said Dermot Desmond. "With Star Fantasy Leagues we have partnered with a company that has best-in-class technology and has the industry leading compliance infrastructure, built by a very talented team. They are uniquely placed to help lead and shape the emerging daily fantasy sports industry and we are very excited to be a part of that journey."

Desmond is known for founding Global Betting Exchange, which does business as BETDAQ, and recently sold to Ladbrokes PLC in January of 2013. As part of the deal, Desmond acquired an ownership stake in Ladbrokes. He is also the majority shareholder of Celtic PLC, a soccer team in the Scottish Premier League. Desmond was also a former shareholder of Manchester United, a soccer club in the English Premier League, and a shareholder in Optimal Payments, a payment provider that services the fantasy sports market. Beyond sports and gaming, Desmond's business portfolio is wide ranging and includes an ownership stake in Barbados' most luxurious destination, the Sandy Lane Hotel.

The announcement of this deal comes on the heels of the sale of VJ Stanley Inc., a Rochester, NY based business owned by Star Fantasy Leagues founders and brothers Zach and Justin Stanley, to Buffalo, NY based Stritt & Priebe Inc. for a reported $4.5 million. The brothers started the fantasy sports business with capital inherited from their late father and grandfather, Dean V. Stanley, and Vince Stanley, Sr., and Star Fantasy Leagues is their first venture into a new family business together.

Star Fantasy Leagues offers individuals the opportunity to play skill based fantasy sports games online for real money. Customers can play traditional fantasy sports contests that span an entire season, or they can enter one-day fantasy contests with immediate payouts that condense a traditional sports season into a single day. Star also provides a turnkey entry into the red hot fantasy sports market by licensing its fantasy sports technology to groups interested in running their own branded fantasy sports website for their existing audience.

"Let's face it," remarked Zach Stanley, "If you don't play fantasy sports, you know someone that does. You hear the buzzword 'second screen experience' thrown around all the time.  Plain and simple, we've built and will continue to add to the greatest 'second screen experience' that exists for sports fans through our industry leading technology."

About Star Fantasy Leagues

Star Fantasy Leagues, founded in April 2012, is a leading daily, weekly, and season-long fantasy sports technology company headquartered in Rochester, NY. Star Fantasy Leagues games are games of skill offered legally in the USA and Canada. Play fantasy sports at Star Fantasy Leagues daily or weekly with instant payouts, or compete in season long competition against your friends. For more information visit Please direct media inquiries to

About International Investment and Underwriting

International Investment and Underwriting was founded in 1995 by Dermot Desmond and is a private equity company with a focus on key sector areas including technology, leisure, transport, and food. It is located in Ireland's International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Visit IIU at

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SOURCE Star Fantasy Leagues