DraftKings long ago gave up any pretense that the company isn’t strongly interested in sports betting. Just last month, DraftKings issued a statement on its website confirming the company is “perfectly positioned to succeed in a legal sports betting market.” Long gone are the days of DraftKings doing everything it can to put distance between itself and anything that could be construed as gambling.
In that same statement, DraftKings also confirmed that it has “had discussions with potential land-based casino partners” ahead of the widely-anticipated Supreme Court ruling that could allow states such as New Jersey to legalize online sports betting.
New Jersey gaming laws require online operators to partner with licensed land-based casinos in order to offer casino games and poker over the internet. That same requirement would also apply to sports betting if New Jersey wins its Supreme Court case and begins licenses online sportsbooks.
In order to prepare for that possibility, DraftKings has been meeting with Atlantic City casinos to discuss potential sports betting partnerships. The original announcement made last month did not detail the results of any conversations or even commit to any particular course of action other than to state the company is interested in pursuing sports betting.
Now, PlayNJ.com is reporting that DraftKings may be close to securing a partnership with an as-yet unnamed Atlantic City Casino. According to PlayNJ.com, an April industry update from gaming consultants Eilers & Krejcik Gaming said this:
“Sources close to the process say that the company is close to inking a deal with a casino partner that would see DraftKings act as an omni-channel provider.”
That one line is all the detail we have so far, but there’s little doubt DraftKings will provide more details if a deal is confirmed. DraftKings has not been shy of late when it comes to letting the world know of its sports betting aspirations.
One Step Closer to Sports Betting for DraftKings
There has long been speculation that DraftKings has been planning a move into sports betting. After all, the company looks like a good fit. It has a huge player base and name recognition already. DraftKings may not have any hands-on experience running a sportsbook, but they do know a thing or two about managing data and connecting with sports fans.
DraftKings has taken several steps in recent months bringing it closer to a debut in sports betting. Back in February, DraftKings hired a Head of Sportsbook to “help build, launch and drive the sports betting vertical at DraftKings.”
In February, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins flat out said the company would “certainly go after [sports betting]” if the Supreme Court strikes down the federal sports betting prohibition.
Reports that DraftKings may be close to securing a casino partner in New Jersey is just the latest step in DraftKings’ quest to tackle the sports betting market. This may also be the most important step DraftKings can or will take as it looks to get involved in sports betting. A casino partner will give DraftKings legal access to the New Jersey betting market, which in turn will give them experience and make it easier to expand into other states.
Of course, this is all dependent on the Supreme Court ruling in favor of New Jersey. According to most reports, the Supreme Court should rule on the case any time now. There are several potential outcomes, but most analysts are predicting the Supreme Court will rule in favor of New Jersey and strike down PASPA.