With more than 9 million registered users and more than $5 billion paid out, its popularity can be rivaled only by FanDuel.
DraftKings has always had ambitions to expand to traditional sports betting, and because of the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling on PASPA, this Boston-based company can do just that.
DraftKings Sportsbook launched in August 2018 in New Jersey with aggressive plans to enter more markets as new betting-friendly regulations pass across the country. It is the first legal sportsbook outside of Nevada — as well as the first major platform — to offer live betting to US citizens.
Draftkings Sportsbook WV is expected to launch the last week of May. There will be a soft launch with limited betting hours and shortly after that they will officially launch.
Availability and legality
DraftKings Sportsbook is a legal, US-based operation.
Currently, real-money betting is available in New Jersey (with Resorts Casino) and Mississippi (at the Scarlet Pearl Casino). Betting will become available in West Virginia in early 2019. This is thanks to DraftKings’ partnership deal with Penn National Gaming, which operates Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
DraftKings is also working with other states — with legalized online sports betting — to obtain more licenses and expand its operations. According to DraftKings’ website, the list of states considering expansion in 2019 includes Nevada, Delaware, and Rhode Island.
Betting options and restrictions
DraftKings has plans to cover more than 60 sports by the end of 2019. The initial lineup includes:
- Mixed martial arts
The platform had to deal with New Jersey’s legal restrictions regarding college sports betting that take place within state lines or involve a team from New Jersey.
West Virginia residents will not need to deal with this issue because local regulations don’t prohibit betting on college sports.
However, betting on certain e-sports events won’t be possible as West Virginia gambling laws explicitly prohibit betting on games that involve minors.
Live, in-play betting
The in-play betting craze hasn’t reached West Virginia in the noughties because of the federal PASPA ban, but DraftKings is gearing up to become a pioneer in this field here.
Live, in-play betting allow sports enthusiasts to place wagers as they watch the situation on the field unfold to make things even more exciting. These options typically range from betting on the score to proposition bets that are intrinsically connected with the rules of a given sport.
In New Jersey, DraftKings expands this betting model by offering an early cash-out feature, which allows players to cut their losses by withdrawing early. Situations may be if their team is losing or to take a reduced payout and avoid late-game upsets if their team has a lead.
DraftKings’ betting pools are one of the NJ site’s unique features and a throwback to American sports betting traditions.
It allows sports fans to compete against one another in paid contests that require them to make several straight-up picks. The contests follow a tournament-style structure, with the payouts going to the players who made better picks.
A typical NFL DraftKings’ pool contests would come with a $3-$5 buy-ins, a $10,000 prize pool and would require the participants to select straight-up winners across 10-15 games.
The standard payout structure is 50 percent/30 percent/15 percent/5 percent. The structure means that 50 percent is split among players with the highest number of correct picks, 30 percent is split among players with the second-highest number of correct picks and so on.
DraftKings Sportsbook was designed from the ground up to be a mobile platform and didn’t even support betting via a browser-based interface at launch.
Consequently, betting on the go gives players access to the same features as placing wagers on a desktop computer. In New Jersey, the DraftKings Sportsbook mobile app is available for both iOS and Android and can be download from the iTunes Store or directly from DraftKings.
As expected from a company with an extensive background in fantasy sports, the menus are laid out well. Whether customers want to check the in-game scoring, view the latest promotions or manage their account, navigating to the right option is easy and intuitive.
DraftKings NJ supports two payment options: credit card and PayPal. The operator allows DFS players to place bets via the sportsbook.
However, it’s recommended to set up a dedicated sports betting account because fantasy funds can’t be used for any wagers until they’re wagered at least once. This limitation doesn’t apply when a sportsbook customer wants to enter a fantasy contest.
In New Jersey, the sportsbook processes withdrawals via check, PayPal, ACH and cage pickup. DraftKings’ customers can make deposits and request cash outs in West Virginia. However, they will not be able to place any wagers before the official West Virginia launch. The site utilizes geolocation technology to prevent anyone from breaking this rule.
New DraftKings Sportsbook customers in New Jersey have their first paid bet matched with a free bet, up to $500.
Other than that, the site also features limited-time offers, which tend to tie-in with major sporting events and new DraftKings products. For example, in February 2019, DraftKings’ customers could participate in a “Pick A Square“ Super Bowl promotion, which allowed them to win a slice of a $53,000 prize pool if the numbers on the square they clicked aligned with the score of both teams during the big game.
Players could receive an additional free bet worth up to $53 by playing the casino games that are bundled with the sportsbook app.
DraftKings’ customer support in New Jersey is available 24/7. Customers can contact the support team via email or traditional mail. Also, players can fill out a contact form to receive a call back from the staff.
In addition, the DraftKings Sportsbook website features a brief FAQ section. Geolocation issues aside, the information within this section is insufficient at the moment. Thus, if customers want to learn more about the software, banking, betting options or promotions, contacting the customer service may be the only choice.