Daily fantasy sports market-leader DraftKings announced the launch of its Australian platform on Monday, bringing the countries it operates in outside its core North American market to six.
Since early 2017, when it debuted in the UK, the company has slowly rolled out its services to Germany, Malta, Ireland and Austria, but with none of the marketing blitz that accompanied its rise to prominence in the US.
The jury’s out on whether there is an appetite beyond the US and Canada for daily fantasy sports, and DraftKings, as a private company, has not published any international revenue figures, although it does not appear to be taking these countries by storm.
DraftKings Primed for New Jersey
The company’s chief international officer Jeffrey Haas said in a press release that it had chosen to launch in Australia because it is “home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the world.”
He added he was “confident Australians will enjoy the exciting and innovative competition formats we have available across ten international sports, and their ability to compete against other people, both local and international.”
DraftKings’ presser makes no mention of whether it attends to offer sports betting in Australia, as it has pledged to do in the US in the wake of PASPA’s repeal. Last week, it announced it had sealed a deal with Resorts Hotel Casino Atlantic City to offer sports betting to New Jersey residents.
Since Australia is one of the biggest regulated online sports betting market in the world, it would make sense that DraftKings is entering the market with a view ultimately to becoming a player in the sports betting sector.
Kindred Takeover Unlikely
The company’s CEO Jason Robins has said he believes DFS players and sports bettors are the same demographic — highly engaged, financially-invested sports fans — and that his company will offer both products post-PASPA.
DraftKings’ press release did not mention either whether the Australian platform will offer contests on the most popular Australian sports — cricket, rugby, and Australian Rules Football — but it did suggest that soccer would be a popular product, given Australia’s participation in the forthcoming FIFA Word Cup, although soccer is less popular in Australia than it is in most of the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, there have been multiple reports that DraftKings has become the subject of a potential takeover by the Kindred Group, the Swedish online gambling group that owns the Unibet and 32 Red brands, among others.
The rumors follow the acquisition of FanDuel by British-Irish betting group Paddy Power Betfair, however a source who spoke to eGaming Review on Monday said the Kindred takeover was “highly unlikely” and that, for now, DraftKings was happy to go it alone.