Daily fantasy sports (DFS) giant DraftKings is waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s go-signal before it finally decides to jump over the fence into the greener side of sports betting.
Recode reported that DraftKings, which has been trying to distance its offerings and its business from gambling, is now creating a sports betting product just in case the high tribunal rules that the federal ban on sports betting is unconstitutional.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins hoped that his new venture would be up and running in time for the legalization of sports betting across America. In an interview with Recode, Robins expressed confidence that legal sports betting in the U.S. is “going to happen,” and that “it is just [a matter of] when.” He kept mum on what DraftKing’s new product will be.
Should the SC decides to strike down the controversial Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 this year, Robins vowed that DraftKings will be prepared.
For years, DraftKings and other DFS operators have spent billions of dollars lobbying for the legalization of fantasy sports and to fend off legal cases filed against their business. They insisted that fantasy sports is a game of skill and not a game of chance.
Things, however, changed for Robins after majority of the SC justices appeared to agree with New Jersey that PASPA violates the U.S. Constitution’s protection of state’s rights.
“I guess there’s always some worry there, but they’re two different products,” Robins told the news outlet. “Any company that is going to become big generally has to expand into multiple products and we’ll be no different.”
It is not only DraftKings that has suddenly begun to sing a different tune after the court took cognizance of New Jersey’s petition. State assemblymen across the U.S. have started introducing sports betting measures in anticipation of the SC landmark ruling.
KCRA reported that California State Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced on Sunday a constitutional amendment that would make sports betting legal in the Golden State. The lawmaker wants sports betting revenues to be earmarked for schools and education.
“You could see tax revenue as high as a $100 million or $200 million a year to the state general fund if we authorize sports wagering,” Gray said, according to the news outlet.
In a recent study, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming said the states that are likely to introduce sports betting bills this year are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and California. Both Indiana and Kentucky have already introduced betting bills.