DraftKings and its partner, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, received approval to begin accepting online sports bets, the first operator to be allowed to do so since legal sports betting launched in New Jersey.
The DraftKings Sportsbook app was available to a limited number of users on Wednesday, as it entered a trial period before a full rollout could be approved by New Jersey regulators.
The length of the trial period was unclear, but various media reports suggested that it would last a minimum of several days.
Mobile Betting Seen as Critical
The introduction of mobile wagering is seen as a major step for New Jersey bookmakers. While in-person betting at casinos and racetracks has generated steady revenue in the state so far, online betting is expected to be far more lucrative. Gamblers will be able to deposit funds, place bets, or cash out from anywhere in New Jersey, with geolocation technology used to ensure out-of-state betting does not take place.
The first sports bets in the state were taken at Monmouth Park and the Borgata casino on June 14. The legislation that allowed for sportsbooks in New Jersey included a 30-day waiting period before any mobile or online sports betting could launch, meaning that July 11 was the earliest possible date for betting apps to launch.
None of the state’s operators were ready for approval from the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement at that time. But it now appears as though several operators are planning on rolling out apps in the days and weeks to come, with most hoping they can be up and running before NFL season begins in September.
According to an ESPN report, MGM CEO Jim Murren expects the Borgata to have mobile betting up and running by the end of is week. Caesars Entertainment has signaled that they expect to have a sports betting app ready in the state “quickly,” while both FanDuel and The Stars Group want to be ready to go in time for football season.
According to DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, mobile products are the future of the sports betting industry, a place where companies will be able to innovate in ways they can’t do at live venues.
“I just think the way sports betting is thought of and the experience of it is going to look totally different in 10 years,” Robins told ESPN. “And I think mobile is really the key for that.”
DraftKings Designs App for Casual Bettors
While DraftKings won’t be fully overlapping their sports betting operations with the daily fantasy sports products that made them famous, the two won’t be entirely separate, either. While sports betting and DFS will be handled from two different apps, users will be able to use the same account to log into and fund both.
The sportsbook app is also designed with a more casual bettor in mind. Much of the traditional sports betting jargon has been replaced with simple language, asking gamblers “who will win?” rather than just throwing out terms like “money line.”
Users who have shown a preference for particular sports or teams in their DFS play might also see related bets featured prominently in the betting app.
Of course, all of the full functionality of a sportsbook will be there for those who are more comfortable diving into a full range of options.