DraftKings Launches Blackjack in NJ; WV Launch Nears

DraftKings is getting into the casino business. This week, the fantasy-site-turned-sportsbook took yet another step in remaking its image as an all-around gaming destination with the launch of real money blackjack tables for New Jersey gamblers.

After first launching as a daily fantasy site and dominating that niche, DraftKings expanded into sports betting back in August and has already made inroads into multiple additional states. Next up is DraftKings Casino to make the former fantasy site a full-fledged gambling operator covering all the main bases aside from online poker.

DraftKings blackjack has been introduced as an integrated game on the existing Android sports betting app. Android users can simply log in to their existing DraftKings account to give the game a whirl today. Blackjack on the iOS and web, as well as a full-on casino site with more games, are said to be coming shortly as well.

Gambling Insider reports the upcoming DraftKings Casino will be launched under the same Resorts Casino license that underpins its sports betting operations in New Jersey. Resorts Casino also operates a separate online casino under its own name in addition to holding the licenses for Mohegan Sun Online and BetStars.

DraftKings Tapping into Big NJ Gambling Potential

DraftKings will be tapping into a healthy online gambling market in New Jersey as it rolls out its newest gaming product.

According to recent figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), online gambling and poker generated $26.9 million in revenue last month to bring the state’s year-to-date figure to nearly $270 million.

DraftKings’ sports betting operations in New Jersey so far have earned the company roughly $23 million in revenue to date. That’s “roughly” because NJDGE reports break down online sports betting revenue by the land-based licensee, which in this case is Resorts AC. BetStars NJ also operates off the Resorts license so its figures are included in that revenue number, but a large majority of Resorts’ online wagering revenue derives from DraftKings.

In any case, DraftKings is set to enter a highly profitable sector. It is also a mature and highly competitive sector, but NJ revenue figures show the potential that exists for DraftKings Casino if it is able to carve out a niche among the more established operators. With a large player database thanks to its existing fantasy and sportsbook operations in New Jersey, DraftKings may indeed be able to do exactly that.

DraftKings will also once again have first-mover advantage just as it did when it became the first online sportsbook to launch in New Jersey. DraftKings will not be the first to offer casino games, of course, but it will be the first all-in-one destination for online sports betting and gambling in New Jersey (or anywhere else in the US really).

DraftKings Set to Launch in West Virginia

In other news, DraftKings is preparing to commence online sports betting in West Virginia.

In a press release issued earlier today, DraftKings announced it has reached an agreement with Penn National Gaming to run a mobile sports betting app in partnership with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The press release did not mention in-person sports betting, but instead stressed that DraftKings Sportsbook will be available statewide through a soon-to-be-launched mobile app.

Here’s DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish on the deal:

“We are thrilled to work with Penn National Gaming to bring our online sportsbook product to West Virginia. We look forward to serving sports fans in the Mountain State and building on the immense success we have had in leading the New Jersey market. With over 90 percent of sports bettors returning to play after trying DraftKings Sportsbook, we are confident we can deliver on being the best place to play for West Virginia consumers.”

The launch of DraftKings in West Virginia is not totally unexpected. DraftKings’ application for a West Virginia sports betting license back in August was a pretty obvious hint at the company’s intentions. DraftKings did not have a land-based partner at the time, but that issue has now been resolved with Hollywood Casino taking on that role.

If all goes well, this could make West Virginia the third state in which DraftKings Sportsbook has established a presence. DraftKings has been active in New Jersey since August and Mississippi since November. Additionally, DraftKings has a deal in place with del Lago Resort & Casino for NY sports betting when/if that becomes legal.