DraftKings Prepares for Friday Launch of iGaming Application in Pennsylvania

Posted on: May 1, 2020, 12:59h. 

Last updated on: May 1, 2020, 10:42h.

DraftKings is wasting little time getting into the iGaming business in Pennsylvania.

DraftKings iGaming Pennsylvania
DraftKings Chief Compliance Officer Tim Dent, shown at the opening of the company’s retail sportsbook at the Resorts Casino in New Jersey, said the company plans a full release of its online casino application in Pennsylvania on Friday. (Image: Getty Images)

Two days after receiving approval from the state Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the company that just became a publicly traded stock plans to launch its online casino Friday in the Keystone State.

The company began two days of limited testing just hours after the board unanimously granted the iGaming license.

DraftKings appreciates the collaborative working relationship we have established with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and thanks them for their thoughtful leadership in creating a consumer-focused, competitive iGaming market,” Chief Compliance Officer Tim Dent said in a statement after the board meeting. “We look forward to successfully completing the soft launch phase of the process and receiving our iGaming license so that we can be fully operational in Pennsylvania on May 1.”

The iGaming application is part of a partnership with Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. That partnership is part of the sports technology company’s national market access agreement it has with Penn National Gaming.

DraftKings Quick Riser in Pennsylvania Sports Betting

DraftKings already has a presence in the state, as its mobile sports betting application is operated through the Meadows Racetrack, another Penn National property.

While the app did not launch in Pennsylvania until November, it quickly became the No. 2 mobile sportsbook in the state based on betting handle. In February, the last full month of sports betting, DraftKings took in $72.3 million in wagers. That represented nearly a quarter of the market, which featured eight active applications at the time.

Only FanDuel, which launched in the state last July, holds a bigger piece of the Pennsylvania sports betting pie. FanDuel’s $138.5 million handle represented a 47.1 percent share for February.

Second iGaming State for DraftKings

As the COVID-19 crisis has shut down brick-and-mortar casinos nationwide, gaming revenue for states has also severely dropped. However, as Pennsylvania is one of three states – neighbors Delaware and New Jersey being the other – that allow online casino gaming, the state has been able to make up some of its lost revenue.

The state opened its doors to iGaming in July, and handles have grown for online slots and table games ever since. In March, bettors wagered $385.9 million on slots and $485.7 million on table games, which includes online poker.

Just as DraftKings quickly moved up the sports betting ranks in the state, its prospects for iGaming bode just as well.

The company has offered iGaming in neighboring New Jersey for more than a year. But as the COVID-19 crisis closed the Atlantic City retail casinos, bettors started gravitating toward the online brands.

Last month, DraftKings noted a 34 percent increase in active players over a two-week span as the retail casinos shutdown. That led to a subsequent increase in the number of bets and handle.

When it launches in Pennsylvania, DraftKings will become the eighth iGaming operator in the state.