State of the Union: US Sports Betting Update – DraftKings Unveils Land-Based Sportsbook on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

DraftKings is branching out of its digital heartland by launching a land-based sportsbook at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort to great fanfare today. The operator will accept pre-match and in-play wagers on a wide range of sports at the popular spot in D’Iberville. DraftKings built up a thriving daily fantasy sports business while sports wagering was outlawed in the majority, but it has moved decisively to diversify its offering since the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA. It was first to market with an online sportsbook in New Jersey and it quickly became the market leader in the Garden State’s digital arena, and now it is further extending its reach.

Atlantic CIty Boardwalk

“We’re thrilled to be working with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, whose leadership has a high bar for quality and a forward-thinking approach to sports betting, a perfect fit for DraftKings,” said DraftKings’ co-founder and chief revenue officer Matt Kalish. “We’re excited to bring and offer an innovative sports betting experience to sports fans in one of the largest and most competitive gaming markets in the U.S.” The sportsbook has transformed Scarlet Pearl’s PRL Bar into a “multi-screen betting and social destination for sports lovers”, according to the casino. But DraftKings is not stopping there. On Monday, it will launch a 5,000 sq ft sportsbook at Resorts Casino on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey. Online sportsbooks in the Garden State need to operate on the license of a land-based casino, and DraftKings is in bed with Resorts in this respect. Now they are taking the partnership one step further with the launch of the shiny new sportsbook.

Resorts’ president and chief executive, Mark Giannantonio, promised an immersive and entertaining gaming experience for guests and sports fans alike, ensuring the best sports betting scene in Atlantic City. Kalish added: “It is critical that DraftKings’ offering is the best-of-breed in both digital and physical sports book,” said company co-founder Matt Kalish. “Both are very large markets within the legal, regulated sports book industry.” DraftKings’ great rival in the DFS sphere, FanDuel, is now owned by Paddy Power Betfair and it has enjoyed great success running a land-based sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, right on the doorstep of Manhattan, so it was important for DraftKings to follow suit.

Industry Giants Primed For US Action

Paddy Power Betfair is just one of a number of experienced European sports betting giants bidding to carve out a lucrative share of the burgeoning sports wagering market. UK-based Bet365, one of the world’s biggest operators, already has a deal in place to provide sports betting at Hard Rock Atlantic City and now it has tied up another deal with Resorts World Catskills in New York. The Empire State has not yet rolled out a legal sports wagering industry, but plans are afoot to introduce regulated sportsbooks in 2019 and Bet365 wants to be primed and ready to launch on day one. “Bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York,” said the casino’s executive chairman, Manny Pearlman.

Empire State Building

“This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”

Another European firm enjoying great success in the US is sportsbook provider Kambi. They have a broad experience in providing fully managed sportsbooks for operators and it powers DraftKings, 888 Sport and SugarHouse Sportsbook in New Jersey.

Pennsylvania’s Greenwood Gaming, which is poised to open sportsbooks at Parx Casino in Bensalem and the South Philly Turf Club in Philadelphia, has now appointed Kambi to provide its sports betting services. “Greenwood Gaming represents yet another exciting partnership for Kambi, as we continue to establish ourselves as the premier choice for operators looking to enter the U.S. sports wagering market with a quality product and trusted partner,” said Kristian Nylen, chief executive at Kambi. “Greenwood Gaming is committed to delivering exciting gaming experiences to players in a safe and responsible fashion, therefore, when deciding to launch a sportsbook, Kambi quickly became the natural choice and I’m confident we will form a successful partnership.”

Pittsburg Park

John Dixon, Greenwood Gaming’s chief technology officer, called Kambi “an experienced, successful sportsbook partner that can bring best-in-class systems and odds making to the Parx-branded sports betting products”. He is confident that is systems cam provide timely, secure and accurate wagering opportunities across many sports both pre-game and in-game. Sports wagering is expected to be up and running in Pennsylvania next month, while sports betting will begin in Rhode Island at the end of November.

Sports Wagering Now Operating In Eight US States

That will bring the total number of states with legal sports betting operations to eight, following on from Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico. Marlyland could be among the next state’s to join the party, as its residents are currently heading into Delaware or West Virginia to place legal sports bets. A poll found that 53% of residents in the state are in favour of sports betting, compared to 37% that are against it and 10% that are ambivalent.

Up in South Dakota, a group of operators in Deadwood – the town made famous by the hit TV show – plans to ask state lawmakers for a 2020 ballot measure to bring legal sports betting to the historic mining town. Deadwood Gaming Association executive director Mike Rodman said the proposal would help keep maintain the town’s status as a gambling destination and boost the local economy, something Al Swearengen would no doubt have approved of.

Author: Kristian

Kristian heads up the content and SEO team at Digital Fuel having worked in digital marketing for ten years. He’s as passionate about creative content as he is about Brighton & Hove Albion FC and when he’s not following football he’s writing about Brighton’s bustling pub scene

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