DraftKings makes deal with Scientific Games to boost NJ casino

DraftKings New Jersey will use Scientific Games’ OpenGaming platform to increase the size of its game library in a bid to compete with the state’s leading online casino operators.

The DraftKings NJ online casino launched in January of 2019 and until recently had less than 100 games available. That put the firm well behind rivals such as Caesars and Golden Nugget, where members can enjoy several hundred titles. With this deal, DraftKings will boost its game titles and Scientific Games will have more exposure in the thriving New Jersey online casino market.

DraftKings launched in 2011 as a daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator. The company acted quickly when the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May of 2018, thus allowing for legal sports betting on a state-by-state basis. DraftKings now has sportsbooks operating in five US states, with more coming soon.

DraftKings is more known for daily fantasy sports and sportsbooks than for casino gambling. The DraftKings online casino is only available in New Jersey at the moment, but that will likely change in the not-too-distant future.

Scientific Games offers a wide array of gambling services, and not only online. The company’s headquarters are in Nevada, but it also does a lot of business overseas. SG has almost 10,000 employees, and 1,600 of those work in the digital division.

The OpenGaming platform at Scientific Games launched in October of 2019. Bringing together content distribution and player management into one system, OpenGaming is an all-in-one operational tool that aims to revolutionize the way New Jersey online casinos are run.

The day before the Scientific Games deal was announced, the DraftKings New Jersey online casino launched a new feature called Free Rounds. Other NJ online casinos offer free spins to attract players, but those can usually only be used on certain games. On the OpenGaming platform that the DraftKings NJ casino now uses, free spins can be claimed on any game.

The OpenGaming platform has in excess of 2,500 games. Some of those were developed by Scientific Games, while others were developed by third-party software providers. The DraftKings NJ casino will not offer the full list of games but will have many more gaming options than it did before.

Scientific Games also entered into a partnership with live dealer provider Evolution Gaming in October of 2019. DraftKings already had an agreement with Evolution Gaming for live dealer casino games, but for other online casinos that do not have them it is an attractive option.

In November of last year Scientific Games made a deal with Everi, one of the leading manufacturers of slot machines. Online casinos have been courting Everi for the rights to online versions of their popular land-based slot machines. Several of Everi’s biggest slot titles are part of the OpenGaming catalog.

DraftKings is not the first New Jersey casino to part up with Scientific Games, which has agreements with Resorts, Golden Nugget, and Caesars. The company is also Kindred Group’s technology partner and provides gaming software for the Unibet New Jersey online casino. Scientific Games will power the Wynn Resorts online casino when the Vegas-based gaming giant joins the New Jersey market in 2020.


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