DraftKings Sportsbook has officially become New Jersey’s first legal online and mobile sports betting site. After a soft launch period last week in which select customers were invited to try the platform for real money, DraftKings received final regulatory approval this morning and is now open to the general public.
A new verified DraftKings Sportsbook Twitter account published its first tweet this morning announcing the news:
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) August 6, 2018
In an announcement published on the DraftKings website, CEO Jason Robins said this:
“I am excited to begin this new chapter in our story by officially launching what I believe to be the most innovative, mobile sports betting product in the U.S.
“We have put immense thought and significant resources behind the development of DraftKings Sportsbook and I’m confident that sports fans in New Jersey will enjoy using it to make the experience of watching the games even more interesting and thrilling.”
The new DraftKings Sportsbook can be accessed online via desktop or mobile device. If you’re at a computer, you can head to sportsbook.draftkings.com. Mobile users can head to the app store and search for the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
First Look at DraftKings Sportsbook
From day one, DraftKings Sportsbook will be covering at least 60 sports from around the world with standard wagers, in-play betting and more. Customers 21+ and located in New Jersey can also switch between the sportsbook and the fantasy site with a single click and manage everything from a single account.
An e-mail sent out to DraftKings customers this morning also announced a $200 free bet promotion for new sportsbook users. If you’re in New Jersey, you can place your first sports wager and have it matched with a free bet worth up to $200. The free bet itself cannot be cashed out, but you can use it to place additional wagers and keep anything you win.
DraftKings also told NJ customers this morning that they “strongly recommend” customers make any deposits via deposit bank transfer (ACH) during these first few days of operation. DraftKings said it is working on adding additional deposit methods for sports betting customers and that this is only a “temporary situation.”
DraftKings and Resorts Casino Atlantic City are teamed up on the app, with DraftKings supplying the technology/branding and Resorts supplying the NJ betting license. Resorts CEO Mark Giannantonio told the Press of Atlantic City this morning that he’s excited to see the launch of the new sportsbook:
“It is an exciting day for New Jersey sports fans who now have the opportunity to bet on their favorite sports with an innovative and exciting mobile online app.”
DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish told the Press of Atlantic City that the initial soft-launch phase went smoothly and gave credit to DraftKings employees and regulators alike:
“The goal was really to just trickle in enough customers to play the product where we could get some initial feedback, enough to make sure the product meets our standards as well as meeting the standards of the Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“As a testament to our technology and product team, who worked about a year on this, as well as the regulators who have very quickly put together a nation-leading regulation of this product, everything went really, really smoothly and we’re excited to be able to launch to every customer who is currently in New Jersey starting today.”
More Betting Sites to Come and Competition Heating Up
DraftKings has the distinction of being first-to-market in New Jersey when it comes to online betting, but competition will be heating up in short order. The new DraftKings Sportsbook will soon face competition from some of the world’s largest gaming companies that are also seeking to break into the US market.
DraftKings’ chief competitor, FanDuel, struck a deal with international sports betting behemoth Paddy Power Betfair to combine their US-based businesses in a bid to corner the US market. The combined power of FanDuel’s brand name and Paddy Power Betfair’s deep pockets will form a formidable competitor for DraftKings in New Jersey.
The upcoming battle for dominance will not be limited to New Jersey. As other states legalize online sports betting, the major players are already making plans to expand across the US. For instance, the FanDuel/Paddy Power Betfair alliance has also stricken a deal with Boyd Gaming to extend its reach beyond New Jersey.
There’s also MGM Resorts International and its recent agreement with international betting company GVC Holdings (parent company of major brands such as Coral and Ladbrokes among others). Both companies have already pledged to invest a combined $200 million in targeting the USA sports betting market. The two are currently partnered on NJ gaming sites Play MGM, Party Casino and Borgata Online.
Caesars Entertainment is another one to watch in New Jersey and beyond. Just a week ago, Caesars announced plans to begin taking online sports bets at CaesarsCasino.com in time for the NFL season. Caesars Casino also operates 888 USA and Harrah’s Online in New Jersey.
Already, we’re starting to see some innovation in the market. Another development that hasn’t generated a ton of media coverage is news that Australian betting company PointsBet has reached an agreement with Meadowlands Racetrack to bring a completely new form of sports betting to the United States.