DraftKings Partners With UNLV As Sports Betting Expands Nationwide

Posted on: November 2, 2020, 01:20h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2020, 01:40h.

DraftKings has inked an agreement to be the primary sponsor for the Center for Gaming Innovation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

DraftKings Las Vegas
Boston-based DraftKings opened an office in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2020, seen here. The sports-betting company also recently formed a partnership with UNLV. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The arrangement allows DraftKings, a publicly traded sports-betting and fantasy sports company based in Boston, to open a DraftKings Gaming Innovation Studio at the university. The center is housed at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute (IGI).

Daniel Sahl, director of the Center for Gaming Innovation, said in a statement the arrangement provides students with an opportunity to collaborate on ideas that can be turned into casino games.

The agreement also gives DraftKings the rights to some branding on campus, including signs at the DraftKings Gaming Innovation Studio.

DraftKings cofounder Paul Liberman said the arrangement deepens the company’s “relationship with the Las Vegas community.” In January, DraftKings opened an office in Las Vegas.

Tennessee Enters Sports-Betting Field

As sports betting expands across the county, DraftKings has been active in the competitive field of daily fantasy sports and online and sports wagering.

As recently as last weekend, DraftKings was one of the sports betting companies announcing it would accept online wagers in Tennessee.

FanDuel, BetMGM, and Tennessee Action 24/7 joined DraftKings as the first participants lined up to take sports bets in the state beginning on Sunday. William Hill, Wynn Resorts, and Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica have applied for licenses to offer sports betting in Tennessee, officials said.

Tennessee only allows sports bets to be placed online within the state’s borders.

The Volunteer State does not have legal casinos, unlike two other Southern states, Arkansas and Mississippi, which have commercial casinos that permit on-site sports wagering.

Tennessee for years has had an active sports fan base. Nashville, the state capital, is home to the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans and National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators. The state also is home to two university athletic programs that compete in the powerful Southeastern Conference, the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville and Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville.

With Tennessee’s entry into sports wagering on Sunday, 19 states allow sports betting. Sports wagering is legal, but not yet operational in Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington. Legislation to allow sports gambling is pending in six other states, according to the American Gaming Association website.

Louisiana Votes on Sports Wagering

DraftKings and FanDuel also are involved in the vote on Tuesday in Louisiana to allow sports betting in that state.

Like Tennessee, the Bayou State is a sports hotbed. The defending national collegiate football champion Louisiana State University Tigers are based in the state capital, Baton Rouge. Two professional teams make their home in New Orleans, the NFL’s Saints and National Basketball Association’s Pelicans.

The Election Day measure on the ballot allows voters in each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes to decide whether they want to allow sports betting in their parish. In Louisiana, counties are called parishes.

DraftKings and FanDuel have contributed at least $250,000 each to the campaign urging passage on Tuesday. The companies also contributed money in support of a parish-by-parish initiative in 2018 allowing daily fantasy sports. Two years ago, voters in 47 of 64 parishes approved daily fantasy sports in their parishes.