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DraftKings Sportsbook Fully Launches

The post DraftKings Sportsbook Fully Launches: What’s Up And What You’ll See appeared first on SportsHandle.

The DraftKings Sportsbook soft launch period is over and is now open to all players in New Jersey, the company announced on Monday. On Wednesday, August 1, the DFS-turned-sportsbook operator’s mobile sports betting app/web platform went live on an invite-only basis, the first such app available amongst the New Jersey sports betting licensees.

“I am excited to begin this new chapter in our story by officially launching what I believe to be the most innovative, mobile sports betting product in the U.S.,” said Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings. “We have put immense thought and significant resources behind the development of DraftKings Sportsbook and I’m confident that sports fans in New Jersey will enjoy using it to make the experience of watching the games even more interesting and thrilling.”

The initial launch period was met with some positive reviews — mostly of the technology — and some negativity, mostly of its pricing. Going forward, there’s room for upgrades on both fronts.

DraftKings Sportsbook Goes Live to Masses After Becoming First NJ Online Sportsbook to Launch Last Week; A Look What You’ll See & Some Notes

On its hours-old Twitter handle @DKSportsbook, the company was quick to notify people that you don’t have to be among the 9 million New Jersey residents to use the book (or roughly 6.75 million ages 21 and up):


The soft launch period served to allow testing of its product and servers, flagging and ironing of glitches, and we presume collect some data on its initial user cohort.

During an opportunity to play around and wager on Friday and Saturday, we made some observations:



Those taking their first spin today will find a variety of props on baseball (below), and those throughout the country not yet able to check it out will eventually find the same options:

  • Total runs odd/even
  • Pre-made parlays, such as: “home team and over”
  • Team with the highest scoring inning
  • Last team to score
  • Team totals (runs scored)
  • Result of first inning (one or the other team will score or tie)

And the ability to bet on a wide variety of sports/events, including ATP-Rogers Cup, PGA Championship, Rugby Union, motorsports (Belgian GP), darts, cricket, and NCAA football futures, such as conference winner.

One not-yet-mentioned feature I like is that inputting bets both on mobile and desktop is pretty seamless: You put the bet in and hit “Place Bet.” You don’t have to re-enter your password or anything, which in the case of live-betting or halftime/quarter betting, can result in missing the window.

draftkings sportsbook review

The main drawback? The prices/juice is for the most part higher than at Las Vegas sportsbooks and offshores offer.

Critics have been loud on this front, but the reality is — there is a cost of doing business and playing in legal, regulated markets. DraftKings and the other legal NJ sportsbooks will have to pay 13 percent of gross revenues to the state of New Jersey.  And this is why Pennsylvania absolutely must reconsider the ludicrous fees ($10 million just to get a license) and taxes (36 percent) imposed by its sports betting legislation. 

Compared with zero percent in offshore markets. That money must come from somewhere. The Las Vegas books today mostly have 10, 15 or in some cases 20-cent money lines for baseball. On the DK sportsbook, they range between 15 and 30 cents.

Online Competition Coming


None of MGM, Caesars or William Hill is yet live with their mobile/web offerings in New Jersey. Expect those soon, as well as from the other NJ sportsbooks launching in retail soon, which is a priority for most.

How did DraftKings get to market first? They’ve been gunning for this opportunity for a while, and they also didn’t have to worry about the task of setting up retail operations. In NJ that task falls to Resorts Casino, whose license DraftKings is operating under.

On the technology and risk-management front, DraftKings has the Malta-headquarted Kambi Group providing risk-management and technology services behind the scenes.

Which brings to the target demographic: DraftKings is catering to the recreational bettor, probably many of whom haven’t used a sportsbook before and have only bet against a friend. People ticked off about inferior lines? They can play at the same places you have been. DraftKings offers certain conveniences such as simple debit card deposits and, depending where you’ve played, better consumer protections. 

When the local competition arrives for DraftKings, we could see their lines tighten. One of the interesting things we’ll have to watch going forward is how lines differ among the same operators in different jurisdictions. For example, what will Caesars be hanging in Las Vegas (6.75 percent tax rate) versus New Jersey (13 percent) versus a state that establishes, for example, a 10 percent rate? And then compare that with offshore.

Good luck outrunning higher juice, but this is the beauty of having choices.

The post DraftKings Sportsbook Fully Launches: What’s Up And What You’ll See appeared first on SportsHandle.

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