The NFL has always been at the center of sports gambling activity in the U.S., even though placing wagers for most people was difficult. Since legalized sports wagers were limited to virtually just Nevada, access to sportsbooks required some creative solutions in order for gamblers to get involved. The U.S. Supreme Court changed everything last when it told lawmakers that they had been wrong to approve the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) and the country hasn’t looked back since. DraftKings isn’t looking back, either. It’s looking forward and looking forward to taking advantage of continued nationwide expansion to further cement its position as the leading sports gambling operator in the country.
The company got its start in daily fantasy sports (DFS) before stepping into sports gambling. The latter pulled DraftKings in with considerable force and things have never been better. While DFS still remains the primary focus today, this won’t be the case within the next couple of years, according to CEO Jason Robins.
Robins recently sat down with Cheddar to talk about the company and its future. Thanks to New Jersey’s determination in convincing the Supreme Court to legalize sports gambling, the state has become the forerunner of sportsbook activity and Robins points out that the Garden State is a major reason why DraftKings is able to continue to expand. He explains, “New Jersey has become a huge part of our business. It’s almost a third of our revenue at this point.” That says a lot, given that New Jersey only represents 3% of the entire U.S. population.
DFS provides the rest of the company’s revenue and grows at about 15-20% per year. However, sports gambling is growing even quicker for the company, with a 50-60% year-over-year increase in New Jersey. This leads Robins to predict, “I think somewhere in the five to seven year time frame, you’ll see at least two-thirds of the country with live online sports betting.”
Soon – within the next couple of years – well over 60% of the entire U.S. population will live in areas that have legal sports gambling. DraftKings is ready to get in as much of them as possible, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Iowa and Indiana. All of these either recently opened their sports gambling markets or are about to open them.
If previous suggestions are correct, offshore sportsbooks earn around $150 billion a year. That’s a lot of cash that isn’t being driven to state wallets, a realization that is helping the wave of continued legalization of sports gambling. That wave is only going to get bigger and nothing, not even the Department of Justice, will be able to stop the progress.