BOSTON – In a room full of legislators, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins asked for continued legalization of online sports betting and iGaming.
Robins gave the keynote address Friday at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) summer meeting. During the roughly 10-minute speech, the DraftKings co-founder talked about the early days of the daily fantasy sports operator headquartered in the city and how legislators were crucial to its growth.
While he did not specifically address the future of Massachusetts sports betting, he talked about the California sports betting ballot initiative. Robins also asked legislators to consider iGaming expansion.
DraftKings California sports betting push
Robins used the multi-operator mobile sports betting ballot initiative in California as an example of innovative solutions needed in some markets. The issue will be on the November ballot, as will a competing retail betting proposal by California tribes.
The online proposal authorizes mobile sports betting statewide and would send 85% of tax revenue to homelessness and mental health support.
“We are incredibly excited at the prospect of responsibly brinigng online sports betting to the state while protecting minors and other vulnerable populations and providing much needed funding for critical issues like homelessness and mental health,” Robins said. “It is creative solutions to societal problems like the aforementioned proposal that make me most excited for the possibilities for the gaming industry’s future.”
DraftKings focus on iGaming
Much of Robins’s short keynote focused on iGaming and why legislators should consider legalizing it now. He said the expansion of gaming from brick-and-mortar casinos to online is not the future but the present, as it is legal in six states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
He said those states, which also include Michigan, have proven the industry does not hurt retail casinos. Likewise, he said the legal iGaming markets also help keep more money in US rather than sending it to offshore operators.
“Large states have authorized both [sports betting and iGaming] without cannibalizing existing retail gaming operators and experiencing a hyperbolic doomsday scenario opponents recklessly predicted,” Robins said. “The stigma and fears associated with online gaming seems to rely on inaccurate and out-of-date ideas of how the technology works.
“With the technology and industry proven, it is time for your states to enact iGaming, not in the future but now.”