By Alisha Haridasani
The Supreme Court decision to effectively lift the ban on sports betting in most of the country will create a vast, competitive market for online bookmakers, said Jason Robins, the CEO and co-founder of the fantasy sports site DraftKings.
Soon after the Justices announced their 6-3 ruling Monday, DraftKings said it was already “working with state regulatory officials to apply for operating licenses,” a process it preemptively started last year.
"I think that this is going to significantly increase the amount of competitors out there for us," said Robins in an interview with Cheddar after the ruling. And likely the amount of money wagered, too.
The Court ruled in favor of a case brought by New Jersey that would allow the expansion of legal sports gambling beyond some jurisdictions in Nevada. Illegal sports gambling accounts for between $60 billion to $150 billion, according to some estimates.
Bringing that illegal activity out from under a cloud creates opportunities for legal companies like DraftKings and its rival, FanDuel, to garner some of that business. "The rules around what you can do are about to expand in a great way," said Robins.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two largest fantasy sports sites in the world, but that market domination may soon "look like nothing compared to how competitive sports betting will be," Robins said.
Both fantasy sites have come under fire for allegedly dipping into the illegal betting scene. Three years ago, more than a dozen states challenged the legal status of fantasy sport sites, arguing that while the teams on these fantasy sites are imagined, performance is based on the real outcomes of sporting leagues. But since then, the two sites worked with legislators in those states to create a regulatory framework around fantasy sports.
DraftKings plans to use those relationships with lawmakers to push into sports betting.
"A lot more is going to happen now a lot faster that the doors are open," Robins said.
For the full interview, click here.