DraftKings Named as Boston Red Sox Official and Exclusive Daily Fantasy Sports Partner

Large Picture of Baseball With a Baseball Field Background
Boston-based DraftKings has entered into an agreement to become the official and exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of the Boston Red Sox.

Said Ezra Kucharz, the chief business officer of DraftKings in a statement:

“We are thrilled to team up with a historic franchise like the Red Sox and bring DraftKings closer to this passionate fanbase, which is even more special given our hometown Boston roots. As a Boston-born company, we are well-acquainted with the devotion of Boston sports fans, and we believe the engagement possibilities of this integration are only just beginning.”

The Red Sox is the latest deal that DraftKings has entered into in the area. Previously, it signed similar pacts with the New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.

In-Stadium Branding

The in-stadium branding privileges of the deal include the DraftKings logo will be displayed throughout Fenway Park, in addition to it current signage above the iconic Green Monster. DraftKings will also have field level home plate signages and LED branding along the first and third baseline for one inning at every regular season home game.

Aside from those, DraftKings will be promoted as the official daily fantasy partner of the Red Sox Foundation through emails, social media posts, and the Red Sox Foundation. To further its CSR efforts, DraftKings will also have title sponsorship to to the 50-50 raffle for all home games. This includes branding on raffle sales team paddleboards, raffle tickets, and email blasts.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Closer to Being Legalized

The announcement of the deal comes one week after the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 156-3 in favor of a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state. The bill was a comprehensive one, as it was the product of 19 different gambling bills from at least a dozen lawmakers. Before it got the nod last week, a total of 13 amendments were added to H 3974.

With the approval of H 3974 in the Massachusetts House, the bill is now headed to the Upper Chamber and from the Senate, it is hoped that it will smoothly sail to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker, who is one of the leading proponents for the Massachusetts sports betting bill.

DraftKings First to Get DFS Approval in Louisiana

Odds Board and Money

DraftKings became the first daily fantasy operator to get its licensed application approved in Louisiana after the Louisiana Gaming Control Board gave its nod on Thursday morning.

The effectivity of the approval is immediate and DratKings could begin DFS operations on Thursday.

By being the first DFS operator in the state ,DraftKings will have the leg up in both DFS and sports betting by being able to go live first. That’s because operators usually use their DFS databases to convert clients to sports betting, so having more time to build a DFS client base will work to its advantage.

Said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America:

“As DraftKings continues our nationwide expansion, we welcome Louisiana to the DraftKings family, an area rich with culture, heritage, and diehard fanbases in both college and professional sports. The Bayou will now have access to our world-leading daily fantasy sports product as we ramp up toward the kickoff of football season.”

$1.3M in Taxes for the State

DraftKings submitted its licensing request last February or shortly after the gaming board opened the application period. The Louisiana State Police Department conducted a background investigation and financial review of the company to ensure it complied with state regulations.

The LGCB says that DraftKings estimated that it would bring $15.5M in net revenue for the current year which would generate nearly $1.3M in tax dollars for the state.

DFS Permitted in Parishes Which Voted For Sports Betting

Louisiana residents who wish to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports activities will have be at least 21 years old and will have to be physically present in one of the parishes that voted to approve the legalization of sports betting. Those who reside in the parishes that voted in the negative will have to travel to one of the approving parishes to log-in to the online sites.

55 out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted to legalize DFS, sports betting on live action games but the gaming board has not yet finalized the regulations as well as the application process to start sports betting via retail betting sites, mobile apps, and online sites.

FanDuel and DraftKings Pour in $20M for Florida Sports Betting Initiative

Florida Flag With a Casino Background
Sports betting industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings contributed a massive sum last month to back a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize sports betting in Florida.

According to campaign finance records reported by Florida Education Champions to the Florida Division of Elections on Monday, FanDuel and DraftKings poured in $10M each during the month of June to back its campaign to allow sports betting platforms to operate in the state.

Established in June, the Florida Education Champions is the sports betting political action committee ( PAC ) that is pushing for the legalization of Florida sports betting.

Said David Johnson, committee chair of the Florida Education Champions:

“Thank you to DraftKings and FanDuel for stepping up to the plate in an incredible way to kick off our amendment process that stands to help all Floridians. Our amendment will direct hundreds of millions of additional dollars toward Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund and open up the market for online sports betting to competition.”

Contribution Cap Blocked

The $20M funding came in before the expected effective date of a new law that would cap contributions made to committees sponsoring initiatives up to $3,000 until the constitutional amendment they are backing makes the ballot. That initiative however, was blocked by a federal judge on the day it was supposed to take effect.

After spending approximately $160,000 for research, marketing software, website management, and legal services, Florida Education Champions entered July armed with a $19.84M bank account which will be used as it war chest to push for their initiative with education as its selling point.

Legalization of Sports Betting in Florida

If approved, the amendment will legalize sports betting in Florida stadiums and other venues including pari-mutuels all over the state. It specifically authorizes online sports betting by entities authorized to conduct online sports betting and by Native American tribes with a gaming compact with the state.

The initiative would authorize the Legislature to tax legal sports betting with all revenues going to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, an account funded by the Florida Lottery and which pays for various educational programs such as the Bright Futures Scholarships.

Wynn Online Sports Betting Business Going Public Via SPAC Merger

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s online sports betting business is going public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company.

According to a press release from Wynn Resorts on Monday, the company is merging Wynn interactive division with Austerlitz Acquisition Corp.I, a blank-check company established by title-insurance magnate William P. Foley II. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

The new entity will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the name Wynn Interactive Ltd., with the trading symbol WBET.

Said Wynn Chief Executive Officer Matt Maddox in a statement:

“We are confident that this transaction will unlock the tremendous potential of Wynn Interactive to further accelerate growth and enable the business to capture the massive opportunity in North America.”

Online Projections

Wynn Interactive projected an online revenue of $708M for 2023, based on a 5% to 7% share of the U.S. market. The company’s current annual run rate is $100M per executives during a conference call for investors. Wynn Resorts shares gained as much as 3.1% to $129.67 in after-hours trading. They were up 11% this year through the close of Monday transactions in New York.

The Wynn merger follows the route that other big gaming companies have undertaken in recent times. DraftKings Inc., Golden Nugget Online Gambling Inc., and Rush Street Interactive have gone public after merging with a SPAC company. The deal is expected to fetch $640M in cash for Wynn Resorts.

About the Companies

Wynn Interactive is currently operating via WynnBet in six U.S states: New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Indiana, and Tennessee. The company says that it has market access opportunities in a total of 15 states that covers an estimated 15% of the United States population.

Austerlitz is one of six blank check companies founded by Foley through his Cannae Holdings and has reportedly created more than $140B in value. Foley, whose net worth was listed by Forbes at $1.9B, has holdings in the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, Fidelity National Financial, and software provider Black Knight.

NFL Signs Sports Betting Deals With Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel

NFL Flag on Field

The National Football League (NFL) announced on Thursday that it has inked deals with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel to become the league’s official sports betting partners.

Caesars will remain as the NFL’s official casino sponsor and will be called upon to create content and opportunities for customer engagement using its nationwide network of retail sportsbooks. DraftKings is renewing its role as the league daily sports fantasy partner and will integrate content across NFL media channels. FanDuel meanwhile, will have access to league footages and will work with the NFL on pre-game integration opportunities via the NFL Network.

Said Renie Anderson, the NFL’s chief revenue officer and executive director of partnerships:

“As the sports betting landscape has continued to evolve in the United States, we have been thoughtful with our strategy and are excited to announce three partners who share the NFL’s vision and goals. Working closely with Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel, we will provide fans new and different ways of interacting and engaging with the sport they love.”

Exclusive Access to NFL Trademarks

By virtue of the agreement, the United States’ top three largest sportsbook operators will have exclusive access to the use of the official NFL trademarks with their retail and online sports betting operations. The sportsbook operators will also engage NFL fans in free-to-play games.

The three major sportsbooks are also allowed to integrate sports betting content directly to the NFL’s media properties including its website NFL.com and its mobile app, the NFL App. The financial terms of the deals were not revealed but sources told ESPN that they are all five-year deals which will net the NFL an estimated amount just shy of $1B combined.

Against Sports Betting

The NFL was once one of the staunchest opposition to the legalization of sports betting. It vehemently fought New Jersey’s attempt to overturn a ban on legal sports betting in the United States, claiming that betting on their games could affect the integrity of their games.

But New Jersey won a Supreme Court decision in 2018 to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, paving the way for the legalization of sports betting in the U.S. Two years later, nearly half of the U.S. states have legalized sports betting in their jurisdiction. With the change in landscape, the NFL finally took advantage of its popularity by cashing in as well.

Michigan Online Sports Betting Took in $301.9M in Wagers During February 2021

Closeup of Man Making Sports Bets on His Phone
The Michigan Gaming Control Board revealed the state’s internet gaming and sports betting revenues for the month of February on Tuesday and the figures were solid.

According to the MGCB, the Wolverine State’s online sportsbooks took in a total of $301.9M in wagers during February 2021, including Super Bowl LV bets. The online handle was 130% higher than the retail handle of $23.7M for the same month.

The MGCB reported that the state’s 12 online betting operators had a total of $79.7M in gross receipts from internet gaming for February 2021 while also accumulating $9.5M in gross receipts from online sports betting. These resulted in a total of $14.1M in tax revenues for the state.

Said Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Richard S. Kalm:

“Michigan residents and visitors continued to show strong interest in internet gaming and sports betting during a snowy and cold February. “The internet gaming taxes more than tripled, but that’s what we expected with a full month of gaming. This means more funding for the City of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development and tribal communities.”

Little Revenue from Sports Betting

MotorCity Casino Hotel, which has FanDuel as its platform provider, collected the most bets for February 2021 with a total of $87.2M. MGM Grand Detroit, powered by BetMGM, came in second with $75.7M in total bets. The DraftKings powered Bay Mills took in $72.9M while Barstool Sports at Greektown Casino had an online handle of $40.3M last month.

Interestingly, only BetMGM posted positive receipts among the Top 3 with $5.3M in gross receipts and $2.4M in adjusted gain or $140,000 in tax payments. FanDuel reported an adjusted loss of $5.4M for February while DraftKings posted a $5.1M adjusted loss for the same month. Neither Fanduel and DaftKings reported any state tax payments for the second consecutive month.

Emerging as a Top Market

Combined with retail sports betting in casinos around the Wolverine State, Michigan sportsbooks saw a total of $325.6M in sports bets during the month of February. That’s the fifth largest total for any state for the month of February, making Michigan the 5th largest sports betting market in the United States, at least for the month.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins raved about his company’s early iGaming success in Michigan. Per Robins, Michigan’s iGaming handle per capita on Super Bowl Sunday was nearly twice the per capita handle New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia iGaming Apps for their first Super Bowl despite the three states going live for for an average of 179 days and Michigan going up for only 17 days on the average.

NHL Receives Shares in PointsBet As Part of Sports Betting Agreement

NHL PLayer Sidney Crosby
The National Hockey League received equity from online gambling operator PointsBet as part of the agreement that named the Australian-based company as the NHL’s “official sports betting partner” on Wednesday.

A total of 43,106 PointsBet ordinary shares were allocated to the NHL to sweeten the deal. The shares were priced according to a recent 20-day trading average on the Australian Securities Exchange. Using the average, the shares are valued at $500,000 but are worth over $531,000 according to Tuesday’s closing price. According to the filing, the shares will be distributed in equal parts after 12, 36, and 48 months.

Both Companies Entwined With NBC

As its official sports betting partner, PointsBet will be authorized to use the official NHL league and team logos in its online sports betting app and marketing materials. PointsBet content will now be featured during NBC’s broadcast of NHL games.

The deal will be enhanced by the existing partnership between the league and NBC. Currently, the NHL has a ten-year broadcasting contract with NBC worth $2B. That deal expires after the 2020-21 NHL season but NBC is looking to renew the partnership “for a long time to come”. Meanwhile, PointsBet recently entered into a $500M deal to become NBC’s exclusive betting partner.

Not the First Betting Partner

The NHL opposed the legalization of sports betting for decades but the PointsBet deal isn’t the first of its kind for the North American professional ice hockey league. FanDuel, William Hill, and MGM have partnered with the NHL in the past.

The NHL is also an investor in DraftKings as it acquired shares of the company back when it was still just a private fantasy sports company. In August 2020, Sportico reported that the league also agreed to a data partnership with Sportradar in a deal that is also believed to involve equity.

BetMGM, BetRivers Go Live in Virginia

State of Virginia Made out of Money With Sportsbook Background
Online sports bettors in Virginia now have four operators to choose from.

FanDuel was the first to launch in Virginia last Thursday. DraftKings followed on Sunday, just hours before the NFL’s Conference championship games. This week, two more online sportsbooks followed with BetMGM and BetRivers launching on Wednesday, just in time for next weekend’s Super Bowl LV game.

When Virginia sports betting was legalized, the state agreed to cap the number of sports betting operators to 12 after receiving a total of 25 applications for license. The General Assembly tasked the Virginia Lottery to screen the applicants and with four already live, that means there are 8 on the way.

Third Virginia Sports Betting Operator

BetMGM became the third Virginia sports betting operator after getting its temporary permit to accept wagers last Sunday. The operator, which is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain Plc. now has presence in a total of 12 states, including 10 with online sportsbooks. As part of its latest offering, Virginia bettors will get access to the MGM Resorts M Life Rewards Program.

The Roar Digital operated sportsbook recently announced a partnership with Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. The partners plan to open a retail sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Partnership With Rivers Casino

BetRivers meanwhile, received approval to launch Virginia sports betting on Tuesday. After going live on Wednesday, BetRivers now has a total of 8 mobile states. The company has a deal for market access via a new casino which Portsmouth voters approved in last November’s vote. BetRivers is one of three operators partnered with a Virginia casino.

Caesars/William Hill (Danville) and Hard Rock (Bristol) are the other two Virginia sports betting operators partnered with a casino. When all is said and done, the state will have a total of five land-based casinos. However, the cities of Norfolk and Richmond, who have sold land and have agreed to let the Pamunkey Indian Tribe build and operate a casino, have not yet announced the names of the would be operators.

Foxwoods Casino Resort is Getting Ready to Offer Sports Betting

Thinking Man Holding Money With Sports Equipment

Connecticut is one of many states that has yet to approve sports betting legislation. That isn’t stopping some of the casinos here from expressing interest in this new industry, though. Reports have just surfaced that claim the Foxwoods Casino Resort has signed a deal with DraftKings to offer online sports betting in the future.

Many expect Connecticut to finally legalize and regulate internet sports betting in 2021. The Foxwoods Casino certainly feels the launch of this industry in the state is just around the corner. Today, we’ll talk about this casino’s deal with DraftKings.

Let’s get into it!

Connecticut Fails to Approve Sports Betting Bill in 2020

The United States is now home to one of the largest and most profitable sports betting industries in the world. It’s incredible when considering this industry is only a few years old. It wasn’t until mid-2018 that states other than Nevada were able to offer sports betting options.

Several more states approved bills to legalize sports betting in 2020. That includes Louisiana, South Dakota, and Maryland. Most analysts expect these states to see major revenue earnings as soon as their regulated sportsbooks go live.

Some felt that Connecticut would choose to get its sports betting industry up and running this year. Many lawmakers here have been pointing at the potential for major earnings for the state. Unfortunately, no bills were passed before the end of the legislative session in November.

Some of the commercial gaming entities here have blamed Native American tribes for failing to approve this industry. These officials claim the tribes are looking for exclusive rights to sports betting options. It’s the same issue that’s led to delays getting California’s sports betting industry operational.

Negotiations between these two groups are ongoing. No real progress has been made yet, and hope for Connecticut to legalize sports betting in 2020 is now dead. Proponents of this industry are now pushing to get things approved next year.

It seems the Native American tribes here are expecting this industry to launch in 2021. One of Connecticut’s biggest casinos has just signed a new deal with one of the world’s biggest sports betting companies.

Foxwoods Casino Resort Signs New Deal With DraftKings

Connecticut is home to only two major Class III casinos. That includes the Foxwoods Casino Resort in Ledyard and the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. Both of these properties are operated by Native American tribes.

New reports claim that the Foxwoods Casino has just signed a new deal with DraftKings. Under this new deal, the Foxwoods Casino will have the right to launch online sports betting options through DraftKings once legislation is approved. This deal also allows for this casino to offer daily fantasy sports options.

Foxwoods has been pushing hard to get Connecticut’s sports betting industry operational. The owners of this property are now taking matters into their own hands and clearly expect online sports betting to be approved in 2021.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe which owns Foxwoods, released a statement on this new deal to the media this week.

“We’ve proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut,” Butler said. “Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”

Foxwoods has been hit hard by the pandemic. The casino’s revenue figures remain far lower every month this year than they were in 2019. With Covid-19 cases rising steadily in Connecticut, many expect revenue to continue dropping for the next few months.

Online sports betting could help to bring this casino some much-needed money. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation over the next few months!

States Continue to See Big Earnings From Sports Betting Options

More than half of the US has now approved bills to allow sports betting. It’s easy to see why. This is proving to be an extremely profitable industry and is helping to bring states money via taxes at a time when it’s desperately needed.

Land-based casino revenue continues to drop. Online sports betting revenue, however, has been steadily rising throughout the year. Several states have recently begun seeing record-earnings from their sports betting platforms.

That includes Colorado. Lawmakers here approved sports betting legislation back in 2019 and launched the first sportsbooks in May of 2020. In October, Colorado saw an incredible $17.4 million in sports betting revenue. That’s up more than $10 million from the month prior.

Pennsylvania also saw a major increase in sports betting revenue. New reports claim this state saw more than $47 million in revenue from this industry in October. Pennsylvania’s October sports betting industry also saw more than $500 million in sports betting handle.

Every state is taking a close look at this industry now. It seems highly likely that Connecticut will legalize and regulate this form of gambling next year. That’s great news for the Foxwoods Casino Resort and its new partner DraftKings.

Do you expect Connecticut to legalize online sports betting in 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!

Daily Fantasy Sports Provider DraftKings Opens Las Vegas Office

Town Square Offices in Las VegasDraftKings, 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.

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For the past five years, DraftKings has had its eye on operating in Nevada. Last February, they announced their multi-state partnership deal with Caesars.

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.”