For the second time this week, DraftKings has announced the forthcoming opening of a physical sportsbook — this time where the post-PASPA U.S. sports betting expansion started, in New Jersey*.
“Construction is near completion on the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts, slated to open by late November 2018,” pending approval from the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. The Associated Press reports a more specific date — Tuesday, Nov. 20. According to the AP, the sportsbook will be situated in an area where patrons can access it via an entrance off the Atlantic City boardwalk.
But wait, didn’t Resorts already open a sportsbook over the summer, branded Resorts, in conjunction with SB Tech? Indeed it did, but apparently there’s room for more than one operation to co-exist under the same roof, same as the digital arms for each property, which can implement up to three “skins” online.
DraftKings Set to Open ‘The DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts’ in Atlantic City, Just Days After Announcing the Launch of the Company’s First Retail Sportsbook in the U.S. — in Mississippi
DraftKings did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the status of its previously opened sportsbook, pictured above.
According to the release, the new space will feature “multiple sports and wagering options such as live, in-game betting with five windows and 12 kiosks, offering multiple opportunities for sports fans to place their bets. Additionally, the space will offer ultra-high-definition video walls, a VIP area, comfortable stadium-style seats with chargers, and a full bar with food and beverage service and bar top electronic slots.”
Said DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish: “It is critical that DraftKings’ offering is the best-of-breed in both digital and physical sports book. Both are very large markets within the legal, regulated sports book industry.”
So far in New Jersey, the Resorts-DraftKings partnership has worked out very well for both: In September, Resorts Digital generated $8.5 million revenue (a combination of DraftKings Sportsbook and BetStarsNJ.com — but mainly DraftKings), with FanDuel Sportsbook a distant second with $2.85 million and no other entity surpassing $1 million. On Thursday, with the release of the New Jersey October revenue report, we’ll find out if FanDuel has closed the gap, and if any of the other players become visible on the podium.
One interesting subplot in the expanding U.S. sports betting market is this: how much does a new licensee want to invest in a physical space, at a time when most bets are placed and money exchanged online? Properties with different goals and budgets in contrasting regions are answering that differently.
But the more ambitious projects are providing a nice bump to construction companies. According to the AP, Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts, said 150 workers have been building the DraftKings sportsbook for 2.5 months at a cost of several million dollars. Parx Casino in Pennsylvania, which will soon launch its sportsbook, is making investments in a similar order.
How did the small, starter sportsbook fare at Resorts in September (revenue figures, alphabetical):
- Bally’s: $394K
- Borgata: $2.4M
- Golden Nugget: $499,414
- Harrah’s: $310,766
- Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel Sportsbook): $4.4M
- Monmouth Park: $2.14M
- Ocean Resort: $1M
- Resorts: $279,492
So it’s up and up from there.
The first bet has been placed and we're taking wagers on sports in our newly-opened Sports Book! We were thrilled to cut the ribbon on this exciting new venture this morning.
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) August 15, 2018
As for the other soon-to-launch DraftKings Sportsbook — that’s coming on Friday in Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Miss. D’lberville is located on the state’s Gulf Coast region and sits just three miles north of Biloxi, which is the epicenter of the state’s hotel and casino scene, home of MGM Resorts International’s Beau Rivage and the Caesars-owned Harrah’s Gulf Coast, among others.
*Technically Delaware, but because the First state already had legal parlay wagering, we’re calling it NJ for simplicity’s sake, though not too simple given that we’re now communicating via footnote.