DraftKings to go big in Garden State

DraftKings recently announced plans to keep the momentum going in the Garden State with their unveiling of a new office comprising of 7,500 square feet in Hoboken, New Jersey. The Boston-based company knows how to run big spaces, as the land-based DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Atlantic City is 5,000 square feet.

The new hub in Hoboken will have state-of-the-art technology and in excess of 50 employees. The DraftKings corporate headquarters in Boston’s Back Bay is 105,000 square feet. With the success of sports betting operations in New Jersey, the firm is banking on future growth of their ventures in the state.

COO and co-founder of DraftKings Paul Liberman stated, “This is turning into our gaming hub. A lot of our talent here is for our overall sports betting product. It’s not just New Jersey related. As we expand nationwide, New Jersey is going to have a more critical role.”

DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey

In 2012, in Liberman’s spare bedroom, DraftKings was born with the help of co-founders of Matt Kalish and Jason Robins. Their product is now available in most US states (42), with Alabama recently added to the long list.

Sports betting was largely a black-market industry when DraftKings was founded, as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibited the practice in all but four states. After that legislation was struck down in May 2018, DK leapt at the opportunity to launch a New Jersey sports betting application – the first one outside the state of Nevada.

Growing into a US sports betting giant

If you go back and check out other sportsbooks that launched a mobile application prior to the beginning of the 2018 football season, most belonged to established bookmakers or casinos such as PlayMGM Sports, PLaySugarHouseNJ, William Hill NJ, and Caesars Sportsbook. However, DraftKings still finishes in the top two when it comes to revenue generated from sports betting, with first place belonging to the rival FanDuel firm.

The venture has been a big success for the team at DraftKings and Liberman, who said, “Believe it or not, about a year and a half ago, we said we wanted to launch our sportsbook on August 1, 2018, assuming PASPA got overturned. The team was able to turn it around on August 1 at 5pm.”

There was first testing for the mobile sports betting app and then the main launch, which has gone swimmingly to say the least.

DraftKings app is where it’s at

It is no surprise that mobile sports betting applications are vital in the online gambling market. That fact is highlighted by recent figures from around the country.

In May of this year, Nevada had its highest-ever handle at $317,380,281. For the same month, New Jersey surpassed that at $318,940,677. It was the first time ever that Nevada was not no.1 in the market. Online sports betting is the main factor, as 82.6% of the handle in May ($263.5m) was from mobile devices and online wagers.

DraftKings digital sportsbook head Jamie Shea said that mobile gambling “really lends itself so well to live betting. If you want to bet while the game is going on, it’s such a quick turnaround. You’ve got like 30 seconds to make these wagers. To have mobile betting is really important.”

The mobile betting option also leads to exclusive bonuses and promotions such as the Free to Bet Day special DraftKings had on May 14, which commemorated the year anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA. DraftKings has plans for an August promotion as well for the anniversary of the NJ sportsbook launch, but the details are still in the works.

Major player in NJ gambling and beyond

The DraftKings mobile app is just the first step in the company’s plans for the New Jersey gambling industry. In November of last year, the firm opened a land-based sportsbook in Atlantic City that has flourished, while there is also a DraftKings Casino that runs in unison with the sports betting app.

Liberman is happy with the overall performance of the New Jersey online casino and pointed out people like to play table games. The integrated venture has already made news, with Resorts AC continuing to post increased online gambling revenue.

NJ is but the first stop on DraftKings’ gambling tour of the USA. The company already has sportsbooks in Mississippi and, after a recent licensing agreement with Penn National Gaming, should have them soon in West Virginia as well. With the new DraftKings hub in Hoboken is in view of New York, which may be on the DK radar, but Indiana and Tennessee are states that will likely see the ever-growing sports betting company sooner.

The DraftKings team is up for the challenge and Liberman said, “The industry is growing faster than we projected, and it’s been amazing to see. I would say it has passed our own internal projections.”


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