In an email to promote its new sportsbook on Tuesday, DraftKings announced that it will be taking bets on hot dog eating contests. That’s interesting because as of now this kind of wagering isn’t accepted in New Jersey where DraftKings Sportsbook has partnered with Resorts Casino and is expected to launch in July.
There’s no word if Nathan’s Famous or Major League Eating will ask for an ‘integrity fee’ to make sure the contest is operated with the purity we’ve come to expect from this event. After all, this is a major league event and the major league events must now receive money for integrity.
Legal in New Jersey?
DraftKings Sportsbook only has one casino partner right now. Resorts Casino in Atlantic City is the brick and mortar location where DraftKings Sportsbook will take wagers. The only hot dog contest that matters is in Coney Island, New York. That’s about a three-hour drive from Atlantic City, NJ. Online sports betting should become legal in New Jersey soon so the distance could become moot.
But is this even legal? According to legislation, sports betting in New Jersey is currently limited to the following:
- Professional sport or athletic event
- Olympic or international sports competition event
- Collegiate sport or athletic event
Sports betting in New Jersey will include but is “not limited to, the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sports event or combination of sports events.” Further, sportsbooks may only take wagers that include but are “not limited to single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools, exchange wagering, in-game wagering, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets.”
The “not limited to” language leaves the door open for DraftKings Sportsbook to bring more wagering events to the residents of New Jersey.
Maybe hot dogs contests are the future for New Jersey
William Hill and MGM Resorts were the first to launch sportsbook operations in New Jersey. They are simply abiding by the laws that are a part of the initial legislation. DraftKings Sportsbook has designs to be the company that shakes up sports betting in New Jersey. In addition to hot dog eating contests, they want to offer bets on things we typically see offshore like free agency moves.
Nevada has been aggressive opening up new sportsbook wagering opportunities. Boyd Gaming recently petitioned the Nevada Gaming Control Board to take wagers on the Golden Tee World Championship event they were hosting. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission hasn’t been the most flexible gaming commission over the years.
It might take some time for DraftKings to persuade the commission to open wagering further. Eating competitions, free agency odds and random events are typically only available at offshore sportsbooks. Hey, the language of the legislation is keeping the door open to change. Keep your eyes out for a DraftKings partnership with Major League Eating.