American markets have seen a fair share of European operators expanding there, latest being William Hill making a successful debut in Washington DC.
Being more liberal in certain ways, American companies see European market as a promising exercise, with DraftKings as a latest example of those interested in the old continent.
First expansion to Europe
Using the newly acquired in-house SBTech platform, DraftKings has successfully started a new online sportsbook licensed in Ireland. Soft launched online sportsbook is operated by a Maltese company, Crown Gaming Malta, a bookmaker license that is remotely issued by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, being the first DraftKings expansion outside the home country. DraftKings is already fairly successful in US, offering mobile and desktop solutions for gamblers, and while the European grounds are new to them, confidence is high due to the acquired experience.
Company has made some efforts to localize the sportsbook experience, and although the website offers ordinary sportsbook experience, there are few local sports included, like hurling and Gaelic football. Some reports say the company is considering adding online casino in the future, and perhaps the live casino online as well, even though that would technically not be allowed. DraftKings is a fantasy and sports betting operator so handling an online casino aspect on top of a new platform and new market sounds like a huge leap forward and a lot of things to handle at once for a company that is only experienced in sports betting.
Moving away from Kambi to a new platform
This year, DraftKings acquired one of the world-leading online solutions for bookmakers and casinos, SBTech. Until now, DraftKings had a contract with SBTech’s rival Kambi, a company that had major issues in Q2 2020 which made DraftKings to look for alternatives and are currently in the process of fully transferring to SBTech. With that in mind, European expansion will also be a test for both DraftKings and SBTech.
Back in 2017, DrafKings chose Ireland as a first oversea country to launch their fantasy sports operation in. During this expansion, an office in Dublin was also opened, further expanded earlier this year since the Irish team is constantly growing. Certainly, a proof of success for the American company.
DraftKings further expanded to New Hampshire with the opening of the second sportsbook there. Company also struck partnership with New Hampshire Lottery, which allows them to operate in Manchester at the South Side Tavern. Last month was the first time DraftKings opened a first retail sportsbook in the state.
Big plans ahead, great success behind
Founded only 8 years ago, company has already had great journey. DraftKings became a publicly traded company this year, with number of great achievements behind, like becoming a first legal mobile sports betting operator in US. Although merging with FanDuel failed due to blockade from FTC, company managed to reverse merge and go public, avoiding lengthy process of going public on its own. In September this year, Michael Jordan became an investor, showing his trust in DraftKings.
Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO, is confident in company expansion and will be taking appearances in different conferences to talk about company’s agenda and future plans. Jason Robins first appeared in SBC Summit in Barcelona this month, followed by the Bank of America 2020 Gaming and Lodging Conference last week.