Posted on: March 7, 2023, 01:39h.
Last updated on: March 7, 2023, 04:16h.
DraftKings is one of seven online sportsbooks expected to commence operations in Massachusetts on the first day that gaming regulators in the commonwealth permit such wagering over the internet. For the Boston-based sportsbook, iGaming, and fantasy sports company, it’s a development that’s more than a decade in the making.
DraftKings co-founders Paul Liberman (left), Jason Robins (middle), and Matt Kalish are pictured in 2012. Founded and still headquartered in Boston, DraftKings is ready to debut its sportsbook online in Massachusetts on March 10, 2023. (Image: DraftKings)
DraftKings was founded in Boston as a daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform in 2012. The company’s first product was a one-on-one baseball contest.
DraftKings and rival FanDuel began attracting interest from investment firms in the immediate years following their founding. The investments fueled a marketing blitz, with many sports fans expressing complaints regarding the DFS platforms’ incessant advertising during television commercial breaks.
The Federal Trade Commission blocked a proposed merger between DraftKings and FanDuel in July 2017. After the US Supreme Court in May 2018 struck down the federal ban on single-game sports betting that had limited sports gambling to Nevada, DraftKings transitioned its focus from DFS to sports betting.
Though the company continues to operate fantasy sports, its market capitalization has surged over the past five years because of the liberalization of sports betting. Today, sports betting is legal in more than 30 states, with one being Massachusetts.
Sports betting began in the commonwealth on Jan. 31, 2023, but only at the state’s three casino sportsbooks.
DraftKings’ Home Game
Though sports betting in Massachusetts began on the final day in January, DraftKings wasn’t one of the three retail books operating that day.
Those books were reserved for the state’s three commercial casinos — Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park. The casinos’ respective sportsbook partners, which can operate in-person and online sports wagering, are WynnBet, BetMGM, and Barstool.
Massachusetts’ sports betting law also allows for fully online sportsbooks that aren’t tethered to brick-and-mortar casinos. DraftKings is one such licensee after being deemed suitable for a Category 3 sports wagering permit by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in January.
The MGC is now readying to allow online sportsbooks to begin taking wagers this Friday, March 10.
It was just over 10 years ago when we launched DraftKings from a spare bedroom in Watertown, and now, we are proud to have the opportunity to deliver a safe and legal sports betting product to millions of diehard sports fans across Massachusetts,” Jason Robins, co-founder of DraftKings, told Casino.org. “This launch will mark a major milestone for our company and we’re proud to become the hometown sportsbook for customers in the commonwealth.”
DraftKings has marketing relationships with the NFL’s New England Patriots, which play near Plainridge Park at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, and with the NBA’s Boston Celtics and NHL’s Boston Bruins. The Celtics and Bruins play their home games at the TD Garden.
FanDuel, Other Competition
DraftKings won’t be the only online sportsbook debuting its operations on Friday. The MGC has deemed six other sportsbook platforms suitable for online wagering.
Along with DraftKings and the three casinos’ online sportsbook partners — WynnBet, BetMGM, and Barstool –, the MGC has approved Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, and Betr for online sports betting.
The MGC is expected to formally issue the seven online sportsbook licenses on Wednesday.