US sports betting ‘enormous’ opportunity – DraftKings CEO

19 March 2018

Jason Robins, chief executive and co-founder of DraftKings, has said the potential wider legalisation of sports betting in the US represents an “enormous” growth opportunity for the company.

Speaking to Xconomy.com, Robins said the firm, which has distanced itself from sports betting in the past due to potential legal issues regarding its daily fantasy sports (DFS) service, is waiting on the verdict of the ongoing ‘PASPA’ case.

The state of New Jersey is currently heading up an effort to overturn the federal 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

PASPA makes it unlawful for government entities to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, licence or authorise betting schemes based on games played by either amateur or professional athletes.

The US Supreme Court is due to make a decision on the case later this year and should it rule in favour of New Jersey, this could expand the regulated US sports betting market outside of Nevada.

Should this happen, Robins said although it would be an “enormous” opportunity for DraftKings to expand its own offering, he does not think it would take over its core DFS offering.

“It’s not like [sports betting] is a new activity that all of a sudden is going to be there,” Robins told Xconomy.com.

“It already exists; it’s just happening on the black market now.”

The comments come after DraftKings last month indicated that it could move into the sports betting sector by appointing Sean Hurley to the newly created role of head of sportsbook.

At the time, DraftKings said Hurley will focus on preparing a sportsbook as a “potential new line of business” for the company, should the US Supreme Court opt to allow the national market to be expanded.

Related article: DraftKings names Hurley as head of sportsbook