DraftKings inks MSG betting deal; Rhode Island mobile betting lags


draftkings-madison-square-garden-rhode-island-sports-bettingDraftKings is the new exclusive sports betting partner of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, while its mobile betting operations in New Hampshire got off to a solid start.

On Thursday, DraftKings announced that it struck a new marketing partnership with the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) to become the official and exclusive sports betting partnership of the Madison Square Garden arena and the aforementioned NBA and NHL teams that call the arena home.

The deal, which builds on the daily fantasy sports partnership that DraftKings signed with MSG in 2015, will allow DraftKings “significant” brand exposure to sports fans via MGS’s digital platforms, in-game promotion and out-of-home signage, as well as the arena’s exterior video display, which MSG claims is visible to around 1m pedestrians per day.

Sadly, New York state has yet to authorize online betting, forcing local bettors to travel upstate to the del Lago Resort & Casino to wager at an authorized DraftKings sportsbook. For the moment, the hope is that sports fans in legal betting states who watch Knicks and Rangers games will take the hint and fire up their DraftKings apps.

Speaking of, New Hampshire officially joined the list of legal betting states on December 30, with DraftKings holding a monopoly on mobile betting operations on behalf of the New Hampshire Lottery. The Lottery claims that over 6k customers registered online betting accounts on the first day they were available, with total handle for the day exceeding $250k.

New Hampshire is the second New England state to authorize sports betting, following Rhode Island’s betting launch in 2019. Unlike Rhode Island, New Hampshire doesn’t require mobile bettors to register their accounts at a local retail outlet, a factor that has been blamed for Rhode Island’s dismal betting returns to date.

In December, Rhode Island’s Department of Revenue revealed that only around 7,834 (45%) of the 17,199 individuals who’d signed up with the state’s mobile betting app had followed through with in-person registration. Of these, around 1,400 reportedly forgot to bring money with them to make a deposit. With mobile betting accounting for as much as 85% of betting handle in other states, the in-person requirement is viewed as a major stumbling block.

Figures for November show Rhode Island’s sports betting handle hit $31.5m while revenue topped $2.7m, both new record highs for the market. But mobile accounted for only $8.4m of November’s handle, and the state recently downgraded its annual betting revenue projections by nearly 60%. Time for a regulatory rethink, people.