For novice sports bettors who want to dip their toes in the gaming pool, but don’t have a good understanding of odds, moneylines or spreads, DraftKings has a new product that essentially dumbs down sports betting to the office-pool level.
The Boston-based company rolled out the new product on Thursday, the company’s “DraftKings Sportsbook Pools,” a simplified way to bet that mimics those NCAA office pools that blanket the nation in March. The product was made available to New Jersey bettors this morning. According to a company press release, the Sportsbook Pools games will allow less experienced bettors an opportunity to play without having to understand the intricacies of sports betting.
“Millions of Americans have been playing in sports pools for years with their friends and coworkers, and now one of the most popular ways that fans can get ‘skin in the game’ is live on DraftKings Sportsbook,” said Matt Kalish, Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of DraftKings. “DraftKings Sportsbook Pools features simple predictions, such as picking the winner of each NFL game weekly, combined with the potential to win jackpot-style prizes.”
Less than five months after New Jersey won the Supreme Court battle that allowed its casinos to offer sports betting, taxes are going up. According to the Press of Atlantic City, Governor Phil Murphy signed off on a 1.25 percent sports betting tax increase last week to benefit the state’s ailing Casino Reinvestment Development Agency. That brings the tax on net sports betting revenue to 9.75 percent at brick-and-mortar sports books and 13 percent on mobile and online sports betting.
For comparison, Nevada taxes its sports betting revenue at 6.75 percent, West Virginia at 10 percent and Mississippi at 12 percent. Sportsbooks haven’t opened in Pennsylvania yet, but the rate there will be 36 percent, while Delaware and Rhode Island (which expects to open for sports betting next month) effectively pay more a more than 50 percent tax rate under partnership programs with their state governments.
The CRDA will earmark the funds for “marketing and promotion.” According to the Press of Atlantic City, the additional tax from casino sportsbooks will be used to market Atlantic City specifically while the additional tax revenue generated from Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack will be funneled directly to the towns in which the tracks are located.
New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director (DGE) David Rebuck on Tuesday offered his blunt assessment of the NFL’s characterization of the state of sports betting in the U.S.: “Nonsense.”
The NFL’s stance, voiced again at House of Representatives hearing on Sept. 27, was that states legalizing sports wagering are now engaging in a “regulatory race to the bottom,” which Rebuck called “fear mongering” and “nonsense.”
Rebuck’s remarks came during a Global Gaming Expo (G2E) panel in Las Vegas alongside Pennsylvania’s Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing for the state’s gaming control board, and Matthew Morgan, Director of Gaming Affairs for the Chickasaw Nation. Rebuck’s criticism focused in part on the “integrity fee” as well as Major League Baseball and NBA’s efforts at compelling lawmakers to require state-licensed sportsbooks to use “official league data” for grading wagers, which he framed as fundamentally anti-business, and a mandate that New Jersey unequivocally will not implement.