DraftKings announced on Monday that a DraftKings Sportsbook, like a FanDuel Sportsbook, will come to life in retail form at a commercial casino, in the latest shoe to drop for the New York sports betting landscape. Of course, New York lawmakers failed to seal the deal on its leading 2018 bills that would have legalized sports wagering, so sportsbook plans may have to remain blueprints until the Empire State can implement enabling legislation.
From the news release: “New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and we are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience, both at a physical sportsbook and on mobile when permitted,” said Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings.
There are regulations in the works that may allow the state’s four upstate commercial casinos, del Lago included, to legally operate retail sports wagering locations under a 2013 law, once the regulations are complete. The New York State Gaming Commission is meeting today, however “there is no substantive action planned on the issue today,” Brad Maione, Director Of Communications at New York State Gaming Commission, told Sports Handle.
DraftKings Officially Enters New York Sports Betting Picture With Deal to Operate Sports Betting at del Lago Resort & Casino in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region
In the news release, DraftKings was not shy about touting its coming sports betting platform, nor about underscoring the scope of the opportunity to potential new investors.
Last week, Axios reported that “DraftKings is back in fundraising mode, speaking with prospective investors about a $200 million raise at a $1.5 billion pre-money valuation.”
From Robins’ in today’s press release:
DraftKings is well positioned to capitalize on the New York market through its industry leading technology and more than 10 million customers. … New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and we are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience, both at a physical sportsbook and on mobile when permitted.”
In June, Gambling Compliance projected in a new study that the size of the New York market will be humongous. According to the report, the New York sports betting market will generate $700 million in revenue and the U.S. market will be worth a minimum of $1.1 billion by 2023, and will ultimately be worth between $3.1-$5.3 billion, making it bigger than in the U.K. and possibly China.
Del Lago opened in February 2017. Its casino floor includes nearly 2,000 slot machines, 1,960 slot machines, 85 table games, and about a dozen poker tables. Said Brent Stevens, co-chairman of del Lago and CEO of co-owner Peninsula Pacific, of the new partnership:
“We see DraftKings as a fantastic and strategic partner in our sportsbook operation at del Lago Resort & Casino, and this deal represents a tremendous move forward for our property in general. Our partnership with DraftKings combines one of the most recognizable brands in sports with the top resort and casino brand in New York and represents an incredibly important moment for gaming in the Upstate region. We look forward to working closely with DraftKings to create a dynamic, engaging and innovative sports betting experience for New Yorkers.”
Del Lago is a hike from New York City, but is situated near some major New York population centers: Rochester (47 miles away), Syracuse (43 miles) and Buffalo (110 miles), among others. And it could really use this sports betting shot in the arm as it has struggled to generate revenue through its first year.
Just testing out this new thingy that’s coming soon pic.twitter.com/EeMvP2yd7c
— Matt Kalish (@mattkalish) July 13, 2018
Wait you mean this thing? pic.twitter.com/hQLnoB7tjQ
— Jason Robins (@JasonDRobins) July 13, 2018
One key component of the New York state law that came close to passage is that remote deposits and registrations by sports bettors would be permitted. So, if DraftKings offers a good product, user experience and menu of wagers, and of course, competitive lines, they could capture a pretty large market share from players all over the state.
Regulations for sports wagering are yet to be written or approved, so it also remains to be seen if DraftKings will face any regulatory hurdles on its path to securing a license.
Assuming the license does come, the DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey’s neighbor to the north could see a ribbon-cutting this year or early in 2019 … or not in 2019 at all. But as more deals like these close, New York lawmakers will face increased pressure to lock up a law, already.
“This is the second sports wagering partnership DraftKings has secured,” the announcement says, “having announced a similar partnership last month with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., as their licensing partner for online sports betting in that state. DraftKings expects to offer mobile and online sports betting in New Jersey by the start of the NFL season.”