DraftKings, the Boston-based daily fantasy sports contest provider, just opened up an office in Las Vegas.
President and co-founder, Matt Kalish, and DraftKings race and sports director, Johnny Avello, welcomed guests to the Town Square office on Wednesday, where 70 employees currently work. The company moved into their flexible new workspace on Monday – which it leases from WeWork – and plan to have more than 300 employees in the upcoming months.
Why Las Vegas is the Perfect Fit
When asked why the company chose Las Vegas to hold their office, Kalish said this:
“This is an iconic city when it comes to sports betting. It’s been the hub of all of that activity in our country for many decades. We see ourselves as looking to integrate as deeply as possible into the community.”
The opportunities with sports betting keep opening up nationwide. We want to make sure we continue to lead the pack and, to do that, we needed to invest in Las Vegas and take advantage of some of the great talent that’s here in this market.”
The Las Vegas office established a dedicated back-of-the-house call center that will handle customer experience, fraud, casino, sportsbook traders, human resources and information technology. Local employees are expected to handle customer inquiries around the clock. Once the DraftKings’ Las Vegas office is fully operational, it will be the second largest in the country behind the Boston operation.
Currently, the company offers its sports-betting app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire and West Virginia with physical retail sportsbooks in New Jersey, New York, Iowa and Mississippi. According to Kalish, the company hasn’t decided how they’ll pursue a retail outlet or become a licensed operator in Nevada just yet, instead focusing solely on growing the company’s presence in the Silver State as of now.
Help from Local Talent
Former Wynn Las Vegas sports book director, Johnny Avello, was one of the first local talents to come aboard. He was hired by DraftKings in 2018 to work in the same capacity. Avello’s Las Vegas team includes sportsbook personnel that also formerly worked at other Las Vegas resorts.
Avello said this of finding a sweet spot for the company in town:
“Finding this location, it’s been in the works for a long time and, to me, it’s perfect. Town Square has great amenities, and this is a great work environment. It’s also close to the airport for people who need to get in and out. Anywhere where sports betting is legal, we’re looking to be in that market.”
DraftKings Continues to Expand
The company got its humble start out a spare bedroom. Founded in 2012 by Kalish and his two friends, Jason Robins and Paul Liberman, DraftKings quickly became a known brand once the popularity of fantasy sports was met with more loosened sports rules in different parts of the country.
Currently, the company’s daily fantasy product is available in eight countries, with its sports book division offering mobile and retail betting in eight states. DraftKings is also the official daily fantasy partner of the National Football League and the PGA Tour.
Under terms of that agreement, Caesars is offering DraftKings market access for its online gaming products, subject to passage of applicable laws and the parties securing applicable gaming licenses.
Their partnership with Caesars could result in new growth in the months ahead with Caesars on the verge of merging with Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Inc., in a proposed $17.3 billion deal. The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year.
The strategic plan to open a company office in the US gambling capital will only continue to expand their highly sought-after product and presence. Kalish said:
“DraftKings is in a great position. We have a ton of interest in the company because of our story. Everybody’s drawn in because of what’s going on with sports betting in the U.S. People want to change industries and change their career path to come work for us. I think we got 45,000 job applications last year.”