DraftKings Sportsbook Pools Point To More Sports Betting Industry Innovation

Written By Sean Chaffin on December 2, 2018 - Last Updated on June 17, 2022
DraftKings super bowl squares

As more states begin legalizing sports betting, sports books are looking to attract gamblers with new and innovative product offerings. DraftKings Sportsbook announced Thursday that it has unveiled Sportsbook Pools, borrowing a concept from its daily fantasy sports offerings.

The new product, currently on available in New Jersey, is intended to appeal to more casual sports wagering fans and is similar to games among coworkers in office pools. Company officials expect it to be the first in a continuing attempt to offer players new gaming options. The new offering may signal a trend that has also been seen in online poker through the years, adding more betting options and varieties to keep players wagering.

Jump in the pool

The Sportsbook Pool format allows a group of players to make picks from certain games with the competitors battling it out for the top prize. A player who might not be a strict follower of betting lines or the over/under may be more prone to make game selections in a pool. It’s an easy wager and makes following those games on a Saturday or Sunday a bit more enjoyable.

“Millions of Americans have been playing in sports pools for years with their friends and coworkers, and now one of the most popular ways that fans can get skin in the game is live on DraftKings Sportsbook,” said Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and company co-founder.

Players outside NJ may not be able to wager but can preview Sportsbook Pools in the DraftKings betting app. The site’s inaugural contest for players in New Jersey features a $20 entry with $200,000 in prizes. That includes a $100,000 jackpot shared among those who select all Sunday and Monday NFL Week 10 games correctly. The contest doesn’t only award perfect selectors with payouts, but also those who nail 12 and 11 picks as well.

“DraftKings Sportsbook Pools feature simple predictions, such as picking the winner of each NFL game weekly, combined with the potential to win jackpot-style prizes,” Kalish says. “This product will unquestionably make every game more exciting for DraftKings Sportsbook players of all levels.”

Future innovation

The new addition is expected to be the first of several rolled out by companies like DraftKings looking to innovate within the sports betting space as they attempt to distinguish themselves and reach out to different levels of players.

Other companies like FOX Bet, the sports book arm of PokerStars, are offering “odds boosts” and other promotions. FanDuel Sportsbook is offering limited “NBA Overtime Heartbreak” insurance as well as NFL Big Win Bonus for moneyline bets where a pick wins by 14 points or more.

But beyond promotions on traditional sports betting, Sportsbook Pools points to innovations in how players bet on games.

Even the new Alliance of American Football has embraced betting and fantasy football and sees these games as keys to its success and survival. The league itself hopes to offer new betting options within its own app, partnering with MGM as its gambling partner and promising plenty of innovations in live betting and fantasy.

Similar ideas were recently unveiled at the Global Gaming Expo, with companies unveiling new technology for in-game betting. For example, IGT debuted its new CrystalBetting Terminal allowing for bettors to view their preferred games and bet right on screen.

DraftKings is also working on a feature so players can create their own pools. A bettor could create a pool and invite 10 buddies to play. The company is even considering traditional football squares and shotgun pot options.

As the landscape continues to change and more legal jurisdictions open up, it will be interesting to see what the legalized sports book plan to attract more gamblers.

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Sean Chaffin

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and host of the True Gambling Stories podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @PokerTraditions.

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