This month we will see finally a surprising union come to its fruition in sports betting, as DraftKings Sportsbook MS will join Mississippi! The company struck a deal with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville and this one business decision means two incredible advances in its operations.
Not only is this the first time DraftKings Sportsbook will operate outside of its home-field of New Jersey, but it’s also the first time ever it will have a physical location.
Scarlet Pearl’s PRL Bar will be turned into a brick-and-mortar DraftKings Sportsbook, with all the screens, seats and betting windows you would expect of New Jersey’s top sportsbook.
The big opening will take place on Friday, November 16. Sports fans will be able to find all of DraftKings’ usual selection of sports and bet types, but not all will be available right from the get-go. Live in-game betting will be released later on, as well as on-site betting kiosks.
The latter must first go through the proper channels of regulatory approval, and the same is true also for the in-casino mobile app.
DraftKings’ decision to launch a physical sportsbook location in Mississippi is due to the state’s law, which still considers sports betting apps unregulated and illegal, outside of casino grounds, that is.
This deal will expand business operations both for the DraftKings Sportsbook and Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort. The casino’s CEO LuAnn Pappas referred to the partnership as an opportunity to bring high-standard gaming to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, along with a new kind of sports betting venue.
The casino has also hired an accomplished executive with experience in Nevada sports betting operations to run the DraftKings Sportsbook, Nicholas Sfanos, a former Station Casinos employee.
DraftKings Sportsbook Looks To Fit In Mississippi
The Mississippi sports betting market is already operating in full power. The Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) has given out 28 licenses for land-based and riverboat casinos, 11 of which have already opened doors along the coast. Scarlet Pearl will be number 12 to the party, however, the MGC reports that all 28 are expected to eventually launch sportsbooks.
Matt Kalish, the co-founder of DraftKings, says he’s not afraid of competition, though. Shortly after the deal with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort was announced, he commented that he has full confidence in the casino’s forward-thinking business style to help bring the DraftKings Sportsbook to the top of the Mississippi sports betting market, which is currently one of the most competitive gaming markets in the U.S.
DraftKings may be late to the party, but at least they got a seat.
What’s Next For DraftKings?
After an impressive and timely launch in New Jersey, DraftKings doesn’t seem to plan on slowing down. DraftKings Sportsbook had already accepted a million bets before its first month of operation, providing the brand with much-needed momentum.
By the time other brands managed to join the NJ sports betting market, the DraftKings Sportsbook app was already installed on just about every phone of the sports fan in the state.
Now, the company is looking outward to expand its influence, and making a name for itself outside of New Jersey won’t be an easy task. The newly-legalized sports betting market in the country has become the scene of the battle royale between gaming operators.
In fact, DraftKings may be at a bit of a disadvantage as far as influence goes. As of yet, the brand still doesn’t have a major investor behind it to take some of the weight off its shoulders.
Odds are, sooner or later DraftKings will have to follow in FanDuel’s footsteps and find a big partner in order to compete. Earlier in 2018, the global gaming operator Paddy Power Betfair bought FanDuel and the two companies have been working together to cover more market ground in the US.
Although there were some rumors floating around of a similar partnership in DraftKings’ future, none of them have turned out to be true so far. This is why the deal with a Mississippi casino is of great importance to the DraftKings Sportsbook, as it gives it credibility and enhances its value.
One of the companies rumored to have interest in DraftKings was the Kindred Group. Although it hasn’t come to anything yet, perhaps these recent business operations could help investors come around to a decision more quickly.