During its rise to daily fantasy sports dominance, DraftKings repeatedly insisted the game didn’t constitute gambling, but the company has reversed course by adding a full complement of online casino games to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Back on December 17, players using the DraftKings Sportsbook online / mobile app in New Jersey discovered a new blackjack game in the lobby.
And to ring in the new year, DraftKings launched four additional games last week to complete the casino pivot – Roulette, Double Double Bonus video poker, and the Cleopatra and Wheel of Fortune slots.
In public comments addressing the company’s newfound focus on full spectrum iGaming, DraftKings co-founder and chief revenue officer Matt Kalish promised even more casino offerings to come:
“DraftKings is building a true one-stop destination for skin-in-the-game American sports fans.
This is an early preview of our larger strategy to roll out iGaming products in early 2019.
As with our industry-leading DFS and sportsbook products, customers can expect to see new product innovation, seamless integration with the full DraftKings platform, and amazing gameplay experience.”
Garden State’s First Online Sportsbook Seeks Market Saturation
The undisputed DFS industry leader since its inception in 2012, DraftKings began its expansion into the wider gambling market last August with the debut of its online sports betting app.
As the first online platform to arrive in the Garden State following the launch of legal sports wagering in June, DraftKings Sportsbook enjoyed the same early mover status that defined its DFS heyday. Operating under the Resorts Atlantic Casino iGaming license, DraftKings Sportsbook immediately became New Jersey’s online sports betting market leader.
Per the latest monthly revenue report covering November released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the app generated the lion’s share of $7,172,171 in revenue hauled in by Resorts AC.
In a press release, DraftKings senior director of digital sportsbook operations Jamie Shea celebrated the successful sports betting play:
“DraftKings continues to set the pace in New Jersey sports betting.
Since August, DraftKings has taken more than 8 million bets and paid out $250 million to sports fans.
No one understands the American sports fan like DraftKings.”
DraftKings Sportsbook Success Spurs All-In on Gambling
Players using the DraftKings Sportsbook app now have access to five casino games, running the gamut from games of chance like slots and roulette to skill-based affairs such as blackjack and video poker.
The casino game menu is included alongside the main sportsbook lobby, and user “wallets” are shared across both platforms.
In addition to the free to play Demo mode, DraftKings casino games offer an industry standard array of minimum and maximum wagers. Individual bets begin at $1 and top out at $1,000 on the virtual roulette tables, while blackjack uses a $1 through $100 bet limit. Video poker wagers span the spectrum from $0.10 to $200.
As for DraftKings’ pair of online slot titles, Cleopatra plays as a “penny” slot with a $0.01 through $600 range, and Wheel of Fortune ups the ante to $0.50 through $500.
In an interview conducted by iGaming industry reporter Grant Lucas shortly after the initial blackjack launch, a DraftKings spokesperson revealed that the casino vertical was proving to be a hit with players:
“There’s tremendous excitement … already the performance is really encouraging.
I think we thought that casino-style games like blackjack are a perfect complement to DFS and sportsbook products, which are already in market and doing really well.
Obviously, there’s been iGaming in New Jersey for years. In some ways, it’s an old hat for a lot of people in New Jersey.
They’re used to it. They know it.”