In the past two weeks, daily fantasy sports (DFS) titan DraftKings has opened its first two physical sportsbook locations in Mississippi and New Jersey. The speed of the company’s expansion into sports betting means that a DraftKings Sportsbook could potentially pop up in the vicinity of millions of Americans.
Current status of DraftKings Sportsbook
DraftKings Sportsbook online and apps
Currently available: New Jersey
Since sports betting became legal in May 2018, the rise of the two DFS market leaders (DraftKings and FanDuel) as sports betting powers has been one of the new industry’s most surprising subplots. No one would have predicted that the purveyors of an odd form of pseudo-gambling would both compete with and, in some cases, exceed the performance of established gaming companies.
Nowhere is that more evident than the New Jersey online sports betting market. DraftKings was the first online book in the Garden State and held a de facto monopoly over the market for nearly three weeks.
That three-week advantage allowed the fledgling bookmaker to firmly establish its presence in the minds of New Jersey sports bettor. The result has been monthly revenues double those of its nearest online competitor (who happens to be FanDuel). The DraftKings online sportsbook earned more money in October 2018 than all land-based sportsbooks in New Jersey — combined.
The only other state with online sports betting at this point is Nevada. Unfortunately for DraftKings, most individual casinos in the Silver State either maintain their sports betting app or have existing partnerships with providers like William Hill. So, a DraftKings expansion there seems unlikely.
Otherwise, there are no other states with online sports betting. However, there are likely to be online launches in two states in 2019.
DraftKings Sportsbook land-based locations
Currently available: New Jersey and Mississippi
DraftKings entered the land-based sports betting market in November 2018. The first physical DraftKings location popped up at Mississippi’s Scarlet Pearl Casino.
The sportsbook replaced the casino’s PRL bar. The D’Iberville location features three betting windows at present, but will soon offer onsite betting kiosks. Additionally, DraftKings will offer an onsite mobile app, but its reach will be limited to the casino’s premises, per Mississippi regulations.
The other physical DraftKings location is at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The New Jersey venue is the third permanent sportsbook to open in America’s playground.
Aesthetically, the Resorts sportsbook resembles a meld of a cool sports bar and a financial center. Video screens abound on all four walls, and a stock exchange-like ticker screen provides constant score updates to patrons.
Possible future locations for DraftKings Sportsbooks
There are several states where DraftKings has shown interest in opening a location in the future. Based upon their progress toward legal sports betting, here are the most likely places DK might pop up in the next year or two.
Future online sportsbooks
- Sports betting is underway in PA. However, only five of 13 casino interests have applied for sports betting licenses, which include provisions for mobile wagering. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has already allowed outside applications on the online casino side of things, so it may do the same for sports betting. DraftKings also has a relationship with the Mohegan Tribe, which operates Mohegan Sun Pocono.
- West Virginia
- DraftKings already has a license to operate in the Mountain State. Unfortunately, it does not have a land-based partner, but that could change as the five West Virginia casinos flesh out their online sportsbook plans.
- Sports betting is legal in CT but there are no regulations in place yet. Lawmakers have investigated allowing mobile wagering in the past, so it’s possible it might show up once the legislators get their regulatory ducks in a row. However, as in Pennsylvania, DraftKings has a strong relationship with the Mohegan Tribe, which operates one of the largest CT casinos, Mohegan Sun. Depending on the Mohegans’ tribal compact with the state, DraftKings could potentially re-create a situation similar to New Mexico, where sports betting proceeded without an explicit state approval.
- A bill that would allow only online sports betting is active in the Virginia Legislature. As there are no land-based casinos in Old Dominion, the field of applicants would likely include DraftKings.
- The home of horse racing in America seems poised to dramatically expand its gaming profile. Multiple bills in the legislature and support from key political figures (like the state attorney general) mean that sports betting could quickly arrive in the Bluegrass State. In fact, one might argue online sports betting already exists by virtue of the Twin Spires app that Churchill Downs owns and operates. Like Virginia, there are no land-based casinos in-state, so the pool of potential applicants has to include DraftKings.
Future DraftKings Sportsbook locations
- DraftKings and FanDuel recently joined together in a successful lobbying effort for DFS in Louisiana. It is possible that this result sets the table for sports betting in the near future.
- There are placeholder sports betting bills in the Ohio state legislature. Although Ohio already hosts several casinos, such as the JACK brand of properties, the lack of detail means that everything is on the table in the Buckeye State, including a DK sports betting facility.
The curious case of New York
Finally, there is a chance that DraftKings will show up in both land and online forms in New York. However, the company’s ongoing legal battles with the state over DFS have turned the whole situation into a mess.
Furthermore, New York’s legislature has shown repeatedly that it cannot get its act together on this topic. Lawmakers have sat idly while nearby New Jersey has quickly created a $100 million market. This engine of revenue runs in no small measure due to New York residents crossing the border.
New York might happen quickly. But, it could stall out and not happen as easily.