DraftKings Becomes New Jersey’s First Online Sports Betting Site

DraftKings Becomes New Jersey’s First Online Sports Betting Site

The first fully legal online sportsbook has appeared in New Jersey in the form of an app released by leading daily fantasy sports (DFS) provider DraftKings. Following a soft launch that started on Wednesday, Aug.1, the app was released to the public at large on Monday, Aug. 6, and as DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish told Legal Sports Report on the historic day:

“We started building our sportsbook product at the end of last year. That was sort of a big bet that the company was making, because we knew the Supreme Court was looking at the case that New Jersey had brought against PASPA.”

He then went on to explain that DraftKings wanted to be in a position to launch its regulated sportsbooks as close to day one as possible. Not only did it not miss that date by much, but DraftKings also beat a number of other rivals to the punch in offering mobile betting, including the likes of MGM and Caesars.

About the Sports Betting App

Bettors can access the DraftKings sportsbook only if they’re physically located within the State of New Jersey, although they are able to open accounts and make deposits and withdrawals from elsewhere. The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android systems. There’s also a website that desktop users can go to in order to place their bets.

The sportsbook contains all the regular types of wagers that veteran punters expect, like moneyline and spread bets, alternate lines, and props, but in some cases they have been renamed to better appeal to casual users. Live, in-play betting is supported, and there’s even a Cash Out feature that lets customers redeem bets for a partial payout before the results are known. Minimum bet amounts start at $0.10. In a statement to the press, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said:

“I am excited to begin this new chapter in our story by officially launching what I believe to be the most innovative, mobile sports betting product in the U.S. We have put immense thought and significant resources behind the development of DraftKings Sportsbook and I’m confident that sports fans in New Jersey will enjoy using it to make the experience of watching the games even more interesting and thrilling.”

One thing that’s missing, though, is any information about New Jersey college athletic events; neither college games held within New Jersey nor contests in other locales in which a NJ college team competes can be wagered on according to state law.

Cross-Product Synergies

The DraftKings sports product has been designed from the ground up to interface nicely with the company’s successful DFS offering. For instance, DraftKings’ DFS users can type in their existing account credentials to log into the sportsbook without having to register again.

The games and lines shown to a customer upon visiting the sports betting app will depend upon his or her history at DraftKings. If the user, for example, has previously entered DFS soccer contests, then the odds for upcoming soccer matches will be presented when that bettor enters the sports betting area. Based upon the players drafted for fantasy games, proposition wagers pertaining to those individuals could automatically be highlighted when the user heads to the online sportsbook. This demonstrates the ways in which advanced AI profiling can assist gaming enterprises in better serving their clientele.

New Jersey Online Sports Betting History

The Murphy v. NCAA Supreme Court decision, which removed the federal-level impediments to state-regulated sports betting, was handed down on May 14 this year. The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, is the “Murphy” referred to in this court case, indicating how serious the Garden State was about getting sports betting legalized. True to form, the governor signed a bill into law June 11 that allowed both brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks.

There was a 30-day hold on mobile and internet sports wagering, so online sportsbooks were theoretically able to start conducting business as early as mid-July. However, the Division of Gaming Enforcement was still reviewing license applications at that time and had not yet approved any. Under the terms of New Jersey gaming law, no operator can apply for an online gambling license unless they partner with a local brick-and-mortar casinos. DraftKings subsequently entered into an arrangement with Resorts in Atlantic City, and after submitting their applications, they became the first organizations to be approved for this type of betting on Aug. 1.

DraftKings Sportsbook Launches

The granting of a gaming license enabled DraftKings to proceed with a soft launch right away. This was a trial period, open to a limited number of users by invitation only, that allowed the firm to test its system with a manageable level of volume and to tackle any unexpected issues that came up. Having run the trial version of its betting platform for several days without any major incidents, DraftKings was allowed to open it up to the general public on Aug. 6. In so doing, it became the first legal U.S. online sports betting product to be offered stateside outside Nevada.

Future Prospects

We can expect DraftKings to launch internet-based sportsbooks in more states as they pass the necessary legislation to legitimize this gambling activity. The firm has already signed a deal with Del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York, to bring sports betting to the Empire State. Lawmakers in Albany have not yet legalized sports betting, whether live or online, but they’re expected to do so in the next few years. With more than double New Jersey’s population and a steady stream of visiting tourists, the size of the NY sports betting market could prove to be several times as large as that in New Jersey.

DFS rival FanDuel (owned by international betting house Paddy Power Betfair) isn’t just willing to concede the field to DraftKings. Rather than debuting on online sportsbook first, though, it began operating a terrestrial sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on July 14. FanDuel will almost certainly launch its online and mobile sportsbook in New Jersey very soon.

Other corporations to keep an eye on are MGM, Caesars Entertainment, and William Hill. All three of these entities either own or are affiliated with New Jersey gambling properties, and they all have considerable experience managing online betting sites. The NJ sports betting scene could become very crowded indeed before too long.