New Jerseyans seem to like sports. We fill stadiums and arenas, argue passionately over the supposed superiority of the teams we like best and follow player movements as closely as we watch Springsteen’s concert schedule. Yes. We like sports.
But we absolutely love sports betting. According to the Vegas Stats & Information Network, New Jersey last year supplanted Nevada as the top sports betting market, with $6 billion being wagered overall — topping the previous champ’s record of $5.3 billion, which was set in 2019. Nevada, you will recall, is where Las Vegas is. Vegas. Where sports betting has been legal since the Pleistocene epoch. Sports betting has been legal in New Jersey since 2018.
So sportsbooks represent a big and fast-growing business. And one of the biggest is DraftKings, which was founded as a daily fantasy sports platform in 2012 and went public last year in a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. In its most recent earnings release, DraftKings reported revenue of $322 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 146% over the prior-year period. And that was during a year when many major professional sports were shut down for months because of the pandemic.’
For the latest edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with DraftKings co-founder and President Matt Kalish about what it was like to run a sportsbook without sports, the strength of the New Jersey market and how the company can maintain its growth trajectory.
“We’re growing so rapidly with our core business it’s hard to speculate on everything that could come up,” he said. “But just the state and geographic expansion of the core products we’re in now with fantasy sports betting and iGaming – just for context 12 states of sports betting that we’re in 38 that we’re not; iGaming we’re in four states — so I think that there’s a tremendous amount of just geographic expansion over time.” Watch the full interview HERE.