The two biggest sports betting operators in the US welcome more competition.
Fanatics Sportsbook and ESPN Bet both have generated plenty of buzz in the sports betting space of late.
“We’re in one of the most competitive markets in the world. And I think that anyone who thinks that it’s over in the first inning, that’s just foolish,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said Wednesday during his G2E panel with FanDuel CEO Amy Howe.
Exec: Sports betting competition great
While DraftKings and FanDuel have jockeyed for supremacy, combining for around 80% market share in the US, Fanatics is just getting started. ESPN Bet, through a partnership with Penn Entertainment, is slated to launch in November.
“There’s always going to be new companies entering the market. It’s always going to be competitive. But I think that’s great. That’s the purpose of legalization,” Robins said. “And I think we need to do a better job of differentiating and cleaning out some of the illegal stuff. But in the legal market, anyone who says [‘It’s over,’] I don’t feel that way.”
Howe said two factors to always monitor are scale position and continuous product innovation.
Challenge of converting illegal market
Robins said DraftKings remains more focused on existing customers making the move from the illegal market to the legal market, rather than attracting new ones.
“If you don’t capture the illegal market first, it kind of defeats the purpose of doing this,” Robins said.
DraftKings, FanDuel skirt around DFS
PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy received DFS cease and desist letters. Howe and Robins weighed in.
“There’s a legal and regulatory framework, and it’s up to the states to adjudicate this,” Howe said.
Asked about the companies lobbying for this result, Robins responded:
“I would say it’s more we want to understand what the constraints of what we can offer are. I think the same rules should be applied to everybody,” he said.