Get a Grip: The Week In Sports Betting: DraftKings Earnings and NH Opening, AGA, More

Get a Grip: The Week In Sports Betting: DraftKings Earnings and NH Opening, AGA, More

It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend (or fashionably late) Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting stories, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.

DraftKings intrigued by pent-up demand

Despite declining revenues over the second quarter due to the impact of COVID-19, DraftKings remains optimistic for a rebound in online sports betting activity over the final six months of 2020 as the company believes pent-up demand associated with the return of sports will drive customer-acquisition opportunities.

On Friday, DraftKings reported pro forma revenue of $74.9 million for the three month period ended June 30, down from $82.9 million over the same period in 2019. DraftKings, however, saw its revenue improve sequentially over the quarter including an increase of around 20% in June amid the resumption of global sports on a limited basis.

The momentum accelerated into July and August with the return of Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said on the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call.

“There is clearly pent-up demand that is compounded by a truly unique sport calendar,” Robins said.

DraftKings, which completed a tri-merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. in April, discussed results Friday on a combined company, pro-forma basis, DraftKings Chief Financial Officer Jason Park said. The results included the company’s business-to-business segment (B2B) for the entire second quarter, rather than the period after the merger was consummated, Park added.

In light of the return of sports, DraftKings projects pro-forma revenue of $500-$540 million for full-year 2020, or year-over-year revenue growth of 22%- 37% for the second half. But DraftKings opted to exclude college sports from its full-year 2020 guidance after two Power 5 conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, postponed the fall college football season on Tuesday.

“We are getting enough incremental demand for other sports that we do believe are going to play and because of that, we felt the prudent thing to do was simply not to include college in our guidance,” Robins said.

Robins noted that the company’s marketing budget is “highly flexible,” and can be reduced or frozen altogether as the sports calendar shifts. The NFL regular season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 10 when the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs face the Houston Texans.

DraftKings posted pro forma net losses of $156.8 million for the quarter, compared with losses of $37.3 million during the second quarter of 2019.

First retail sportsbook opens in NH

DraftKings also opened its first retail sportsbook in New Hampshire on Wednesday at The Brook in Seabrook, on the Massachusetts state border. DraftKings has an exclusive agreement with the New Hampshire Lottery to operate digital and physical sportsbooks in the state.

According to a press release, the new facility has “enhanced safety and sanitation protocols in place.” The sportsbook is located in the facility’s “Stadium sports space,” and includes kiosks for sports betting as well as multiple video walls.

Since DraftKings went live with mobile sports betting in late December, the NH Lottery has signed up 42,000 digital users and more than $65 million in bets have been placed, according to Lottery chief Charlie McIntyre.

“We are proud to collaborate with the New Hampshire Lottery and DraftKings to open New Hampshire’s first retail sportsbook in a venue we know will live up to our motto ‘Live Free & Play,’” Andre Carrier, CEO of The Brook said in a statement. “We built The Stadium at The Brook to be the best place to watch sports anywhere in New England. Unless you’re at the game, we feel that there’s no better place.”

Seabrook is located about 40 miles north of Boston. New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the only two New England states that currently offer legal sports betting. Massachusetts lawmakers last month failed to move sports betting forward.

AGA backs Nevada liability bill

Nevada lawmakers have approved a bill that would limit liability for gaming establishments with regard to COVID-19. The bill is one that the American Gaming Association and stakeholders would like to see mirrored on a national level.

“The AGA and our members applaud the bipartisan effort by the Nevada Legislature and Governor Sisolak to protect all businesses by limiting exposure to potential COVID-related lawsuits. This allows our members to focus on what’s most needed right now: sustained economic and community recovery,” said AGA President Bill Miller in a statement. “As the gaming industry responsibly reopens across the country, it continues to adapt in incredible ways to protect the health and safety of workers and customers. Gaming properties, led by our deep-rooted culture of compliance, continue to follow, and often exceed, government reopening guidelines nationwide.”

The AGA has joined about 500 business groups nationwide in asking Congress to address the issue of liability.

More of the most interesting, important industry stories of the week (and some sports things).

NO CHAMPS: NCAA won’t crown champions for the fall season. [ESPN]

TAKING CHARGE: The call that’s changing college football. [WSJ]

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROUT? How will Colorado sportsbooks compensate without college football? [CoBets]

DAVID AND GOLIATH? Entrepreneur looking to go head-to-head with William Hill in DC. [VirginianPilot]

TAKE 2: Virginia Lottery rolls out Phase 2 proposed sports betting rules. [SH]

SPORTS BETTING FOR DUMMIES: UNLV report makes sports betting ‘accessible.’ [USB]

POLITICAL FOOTBALL: Star players, Republicans unite: ‘Season must go on.’ [WSJ]

MORE TAXES? IRS issues memo that may require DFS companies to pay millions in entry fee taxes. [Bloomberg]

SPORTS BETTING COMING… : To Ukraine, maybe by the end of 2020. [SBC]

BUTCHER OF BETTING: Longtime illegal bookie in Illinois pleads guilty. [SunTimes]

MORE WILLIAM HILL: Sportsbook expands its mark on Las Vegas Strip. [CDCGaming]

A VERITABLE BUFFET: NHL for breakfast, MLB for lunch and NBA for dinner, nightcap. [USBets]

NOTHING TO BET ON?: Michigan particularly hard hit by Big Ten decision. [MIBets]

POD PEOPLE: Cowboys, other NFL teams trying to figure how to have fans. [SBNation]

NEW PARTNERS: NASCAR, BetMGM latest to team up. [NASCAR]

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Matt Rybaltowski contributed to this article

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