DraftKings surprised everyone by entering the NJ online sports betting market ahead of all its competitors. The move to sports betting was its own natural evolution from its roots as a daily fantasy sports company.
Now Evolution is taking DraftKings toward the next natural step of live-dealer, online casino products. Here’s Chief Business Officer James Stern:
“DraftKings is a young and dynamic company that has blazed a trail in recent years with its best-in-class technology and extensive knowledge of sports. DraftKings was first to market in New Jersey with online sports betting, just a couple of months after filing for its license with the New Jersey regulators. We very much look forward to working with DraftKings on this project.”
Evolution set up a broadcast studio in Atlantic City last summer, with Golden Nugget already illuminating the market opportunity. As the first of the NJ online casinos to adopt the new format, the Nugget rapidly became the top-earning online casino.
Golden Nugget’s Online Gaming SVP Thomas Winter spoke with PlayNJ about that success:
“Out of our top 10 games in wagering, four are live-dealer tables. We believe live dealer has the potential to become bigger than online poker in revenues in the US.”
Winter explained that since launching live dealer games in August 2016, online table game revenue has increased by 150 percent.
Unsurprisingly, other casinos have followed the Nugget’s lead. First, Borgata struck a deal to use the GN studio to broadcast its games. Borgata’s online partners, partycasino and playMGM added their branded games shortly thereafter.
With the addition of DraftKings, the company continues to make an impact on NJ online gambling.
DraftKings’ strategic decision to enter the online casino market comes as no surprise. Sports betting and DFS are both products with a large cost base.
Now that DraftKings Sportsbook has built a substantial customer database in New Jersey, it’s only logical to offer higher-margin online casino games.
Online poker is the one product DraftKings would need to fill out its NJ portfolio, but it would be a true surprise to see any new entries into that struggling vertical.