DraftKings and Resorts Team Up to Offer Legalized Sports Betting in U.S.

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Published on:
Jun/01/2018

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Associated Press) - One of the nation's largest daily fantasy sports companies is teaming up with an Atlantic City casino in the latest deal seeking to capitalize on the emerging legal sports betting market.

DraftKings and Resorts Casino tell The Associated Press they signed a deal Friday to offer sports betting in New Jersey.

The pairing highlights the scramble among gambling, bookmaking and technology companies to position themselves to gain a large share of the nascent sports betting market now that the U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for it.

The high court earlier this month allowed individual states to legalize sports betting, striking down a law that had limited it to only four states.

"Everybody knows there's a big opportunity out there," said Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings. "It's a new thing, so people are trying to see how they want to go about it, who they want to partner with. Anytime you've got a big market about to be created, there's so much opportunity out there that everyone should benefit, as long as you do it the right way."

Morris Bailey, the owner of Resorts, welcomed the new revenue stream and called DraftKings "a dynamic brand."

"The market is huge," he said. "It's how much of that market we'll be able to get."

Bailey also strongly opposes the so-called "integrity fee" payments that the professional sports leagues are seeking to help them police betting on the games. The leagues all opposed sports betting and fought New Jersey in the court case that the state eventually won.

"It's totally inappropriate," Bailey said. "It's the height of hypocrisy to take the position they did."

DraftKings plans web-based and mobile operations, and will offer numerous in-game betting opportunities in addition to more traditional bets on the outcome of games.

Robins said his company is best positioned to succeed in the new market and is "ready to go" as soon as it gets the green light from New Jersey regulators. A bill to regulate sports betting could be approved in early June.

"We have a well-known brand that's very closely identified with winning money on sports," he said.

The deal follows one last week in which European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair merged with U.S. daily fantasy sports provider FanDuel. Other betting and technology firms paired up months in advance of the Supreme Court ruling, correctly anticipating a favorable outcome.

Churchill Downs, the race track that runs the Kentucky Derby, reached deals with a tech company for its platform and the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City for its license in New Jersey. It bought Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania in March and owns two casinos in Mississippi, with plans to offer sports betting in all three states.

London-based bookmaker William Hill had threatened to use its stock to derail a buyout between two online gambling infrastructure firms in Las Vegas. But it later agreed to support the purchase of NYX Gaming by Scientific Games. William Hill this week announced it is pairing with Atlantic City's Ocean Resort Casino to offer sports betting at the property formerly known as Revel.

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