One Million Bets Is So Two Weeks Ago; DraftKings Nearing Two Millionth Wager

Jason Robins opened a thought with pragmatism.

In an interview with CNN International this week, the DraftKings CEO made it clear that the DraftKings Sportsbook mobile app launched in New Jersey just last month. “So it’s still very early,” Robins said.

Yet even Robins cannot temper the meteoric rise of the first mobile NJ sports betting product.

“But I can tell you,” Robins continued, “every number we thought and projected, we’re shattering. It’s just unbelievable how much demand and how much excitement there is over sports betting.”

Why such enthusiasm? Just over two weeks after accepting its 1 millionth bet, DraftKings Sportsbook, Robins said, expects to eclipse 2 million wagers this weekend.

Speeding up growth

A few weeks after the US Supreme Court opened the door for New Jersey to legalize sports betting, DraftKings partnered with Resorts in Atlantic City to gain access to the Garden State market.

“Everybody knows there’s a big opportunity out there,” Robins said at the time. “It’s a new thing, so people are trying to see how they want to go about it, who they want to partner with. Anytime you’ve got a big market about to be created, there’s so much opportunity out there that everyone should benefit, as long as you do it the right way.”

Within the first week of August, DraftKings Sportsbook rolled out its mobile product — the first in NJ to do so. Even before the NFL and college football seasons kicked off, DraftKings Sportsbook was rolling.

In fact, in August, the mobile sportsbook nearly reached $3 million in gross revenue.

Now, a month after launching, the NJ gambling site accepted its one-millionth wager.

“It took us 38 days to get to our millionth bet,” Robins told CNN this week. “About 15 days later, this Sunday we are going to hit our 2 millionth bet.”

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Football season playing a big role, but it’s not the only thing

In speaking with CNN, Robins offered a take that wasn’t exactly sizzling:

“The growth since NFL started is unbelievable. … Overall, the product’s growing, but it’s really the NFL season starting that’s making it take off. There were some days when we were processing 100,000 bets in a day.”

Of course sportsbooks, retail and mobile, anticipated a boom once the football season got underway. Hence why some states and many sports betting operations rushed to get the industry rolling before the opening kickoff.

The football season is only one factor, though, Robins said.

A year of preparations leading up to the SCOTUS ruling this past May allowed DraftKings Sportsbook to activate a “mature” product, which has helped the mobile sportsbook sprint out of the gate.

“Our focus this year was to make sure we had a product that everybody thought was the best in market,” Robins told CNN.

He added:

“I think the product we brought to the market has a lot of features that maybe over in Europe and more mature markets are more commonplace but are pretty new and pretty exciting for bettors in the US who haven’t been exposed to legal markets really ever.”

Stay the course, DraftKings

Interestingly, as much emphasis as DraftKings has placed on developing its sports betting product, Robins emphasized the company’s focus on maintaining a strong and steady daily fantasy sports service.

“The good thing for us is we still have a very exciting and growing fantasy sports business,” Robins said. “This (sports betting) was sort of like a bonus on top. Obviously, we’re hopeful and we’ll be doing our best to try to get as many laws passed and sensible regulations in place as possible to allow for more states to do sports betting.

“But from our perspective, there’s really no rush. We continue to have a lot of growth in our daily fantasy sports business and we think a lot of room’s left to really innovate there.”

About the Author

Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.