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The long wait to find out who DraftKings would partner with for broad access to the US sports betting market ended Monday.
Caesars Entertainment announced a new multi-year, multi-state agreement with the ambitious sportsbook operator. The union could grant DraftKings Sportsbook access into a number of states where Caesars has a land-based casino presence. It also delivers an equity stake in DraftKings to Caesars, according to the press release.
Here’s DraftKings CEO Jason Robins on the deal:
“Partnering with such a world class gaming organization will expedite our national roll-out process and give us the opportunity to work alongside one of the largest and most established industry leaders in the world. We look forward to collaborating with Caesars Entertainment on creating the most innovative and engaging sports and entertainment products and events for our customers.”
After many months of courting suitors, DraftKings appears to have found its primary partner for US legal sports betting.
Based in Las Vegas, Caesars is one of the largest, most geographically diverse casino companies in the world. Its domestic portfolio features dozens of properties in 14 states, including some with active sports betting operations:
DraftKings Sportsbook operates in New Jersey and outpaced all competitors in the first partial year of NJ sports betting. It runs a retail sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in Mississippi, as well.
DraftKings also continues to ramp up operations in Nevada, including the hiring of former Wynn sportsbook director Johnny Avello. The plan for Nevada remained murky without a clear path to market, but that road now looks more clear.
It’s the last state on that list that jumps off the page.
The deal appears to pave DraftKings Sportsbook’s path into the Pennsylvania market, which is poised to go online in early 2019. The same thought applied to DraftKings Casino, offering traditional online gambling games within the same platform.
Caesars is only permitted a single PA sports betting license, though, and it reportedly will choose to deploy its own brand into the marketplace.
From Caesars’ standpoint, the alliance includes the reported equity stake in DraftKings and promotion as its official casino resort partner in the relevant states. It’s also unclear at this point how much equity Caesars acquired in DraftKings, which had been in a funding round.
The press release makes it clear that Caesars will continue to offer its own suite of online gambling products going forward, as well.