Robins: DraftKings ‘Looking At’ BetVision Streaming, Had Higher Priorities

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DraftKings does not see itself as behind the ball when it comes to not offering Genius Sports‘ live streaming and betting product, BetVision.

The company has just had higher priorities so far, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said at Monday‘s Craig-Hallum Online Gaming Conference when asked about why the company does not yet offer the product that allows bettors to stream NFL games within a sportsbook with the ability to bet at the same screen coming soon. Four sportsbooks offer BetVision, including main competitor FanDuel.

“[BetVision]’s something we’re looking at,” Robins said. “If you’re saying why not earlier, I think it’s just an example of how many great things are on the roadmap right now. … There’s no reason other than we had 10 other good things that beat it to the cut. That’s a good place to be I think.

“I feel like there’s some real obvious stuff, that’s one of them, that can unlock some of these live betting markets and other things that we talked about. Really just a matter of getting around to it all. For us, making sure we had the absolute best offering on the parlay side and on some of the other areas that we’re differentiating I think was important. But this is something we’re certainly exploring.”

DraftKings launching progressive parlays soon

Progressive parlays, which let bettors still win parts of their parlay even if others fail, will roll out soon, Robins said.

“It’s weeks away, so we’re getting close. I’m excited about it because it’s differentiated and it’s also something in that category of really strong, sort of, value proposition for the customer. The opportunity to, even if you don’t hit every leg of your parlay, be able to win something,” Robins said.

“So it gets you that sort of still thrill of chasing the big payout but there are some consolation prizes in there, so I think it will really scratch an itch on the customer demand side. And it’s great for the house, too, like all parlays it should hold well.”

The product is new to the regulated US sports betting arena, but is not new to US gamblers. Some daily fantasy sports operators that offer prop-based contests mirroring prop betting currently offer progressive parlays.

DraftKings advantage hard for smaller operators

While Robins always expects there to be multiple options for sports bettors, he is not surprised to see changes in the operator landscape. Kindred announced Unibet is the latest casualty, shutting down all North American operations by mid-2024.

“What’s nice about this market is there can be businesses with low single-digit share that survive,” Robins said. “I think they will be able to exist, especially if you’re part of a larger entity, I think that’s very possible.”

“There will always be consumer choices out there, but I think as we continue to see this compounding advantage and invest more in the product, make more cash flow, have better [live time values] and stronger [customer acquisition costs], I think that’s just a tough cycle to break. So, I’m not surprised.”

Rational launch for ESPN Bet

So far, Penn National‘s launch of ESPN Bet on Nov. 14 has not led to any irrational marketing environments, Robins said.

There has been no material impact felt so far in the first nearly three weeks, he said. Robins added the biggest hope is that they are adding new bettors to the market.

DraftKings could ‘innovate’ with live dealer

Robins said he thought DraftKings would have a tougher time getting to 30% of iGaming market share, but that is where the company stands.

DraftKings is always looking for the best iGaming titles, whether that is exclusive or proprietary content. Most table and random number games are built in-house at this point, Robins said.

The company is just starting its investment into live dealer, which offers “a lot of room to innovate,” especially when it comes to advances in augmented and virtual reality technologies, he said.

iGaming momentum mounting?

States that previously had fuller pockets from federal relief funds following Covid are starting to search again for new revenue, which is a positive for iGaming, Robins said.

Robins remains bullish on the prospects of iGaming and thinks it will start to get more attention. That would be especially true if a big state, such as Illinois or New York, manages to legalize, he added.

Robins talked 9/11 parlay with New York officials

Away from the conference, Robins recently sat down with the New York State Gaming Commission‘s Chairman Brian O’Dwyer and Executive Director Rob Williams to discuss the “Never Forget” parlay DraftKings had on Sept. 11.

“I met with our executive director and the Chief Executive Officer of DraftKings, who indicated to me that they apologize and were as appalled as we were by this,” O’Dwyer said. And (they) indicated that they had put in changes in terms of reviewing all bets that went out, and making sure that all of those bets were reviewed responsibly. 

“I expressed to the CEO the disgust of this commission, and hoped that it would not be reported again. And if we do find anything in the future, I can tell you we would look at it with very, very severe eyes. 

“I was heartened by their response.”

Reporter Mike Mazzeo contributed to this story.