Draftkings is the premier American daily fantasy sports provider and recently, one of the suppliers of sports betting services. It is specialized in providing MLB, NFL, NHL, PGA and NBA fantasy leagues, as an alternative to traditional sports wagering. Since August 2018, they grant players access to traditional sports betting, as they are one of the few legal mobile sports betting operators in New Jersey. Their merger with rival FanDuel was stopped in its tracks by the Federal Trade Commission in 2017.
Seven years of fantasy sports excellence
Draftkings was actually established three years after FanDuel, but it had no problem in closing the gap separating it from its strongest rival. The company came a long way since 2012 competing with some of the top sports betting online brands and the first important milestone was set in 2013 when the Major League Baseball invested a significant amount in their product. This influx of capital provided other investors with the incentive to back them up financially and this set Draftkings on an upward trajectory that continues today.
Right from the start, it was obvious that Draftkings will have to compete with FanDuel for the dominant role in the US fantasy sports market. This didn’t distract them from dealing with would-be challengers and in 2014 they acquired DraftStreet, which was trailing them at a distance. StarStreet followed soon after and they were able to sign a two-year agreement with the NHL to become their official daily fantasy sports provider. A similar agreement was reached a year later with the MLB and also in 2015, they signed an advertising deal with ESPN that formally began in 2016.
Draftkings expands beyond borders
The US market is the focal point of attention for Draftkings, but this didn’t prevent them from going beyond national borders. The license issued by the UK GC allowed them in 2015 to offer pool wagering services in the United Kingdom. It was only natural for Draftkings to start paying more attention to soccer, by far the most popular sport in Europe and worldwide. Time was not wasted and in 2016, the MGA granted them the necessary license to provide gambling services across the European Union.
What could’ve been the most important move in Draftkings history was thwarted by the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to launch a lawsuit. The merger with FanDuel was canceled and one year later the two companies were forced to pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit with the Massachusetts Atty. Gen. All these bumps in the road did nothing more than to slow down Draftkings’ progress but were unable to cause significant harm. In fact, the company set another important milestone in 2018 when it became the first legal online sports betting provider in New Jersey.
Draftkings are today regarded as a success story, as they were able to implement their New Jersey project in New York, Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia and Mississippi. Their members can bet on most of the American sports on mobile and they offer similar retail sports betting services at local casinos.