BOSTON – With his company’s first work-share office space a minute away down at 376 Boylston Street, and the daily fantasy and gambling juggernaut’s 100,000-square-foot global headquarters #500, DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins laid out the next evolution in a keynote speech at the National Council of Legislators From Gaming States on Friday.
Sports made DraftKings one of the top three wagering companies in the United States since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. (The company also features DraftKings Casino under its umbrella.) But in keeping with the pivot happening within the industry four years since the decision, Robins again underscored the coming importance of online gambling.
“Amazingly, iGaming is already legal in six states. Large states like New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania have authorized both without cannibalizing existing retail gaming operators and experiencing the hyperbolic doomsday scenarios opponents recklessly predicted,” he said.
NCLGS conference provides DraftKings CEO a platform for his plea
In a room filled with legislators that have helped legalize sports betting, Robins made a not-subtle pitch for legalizing a full gambling slate. Most states legalize lottery, retail and online casino, and sports betting in phases because of the difficulty in marshaling support.
Michigan regulators were repeated lauded during the conference, however, for launching a comprehensive online gambling market at the same time.
“In the six states where full iGaming is legal, every single one of them has brick-and-mortar casinos that have continued to thrive and grow,” Robins said.
“Since online sports betting and iGaming were legalized in each of those states, with the technology and the industry proven, it’s time for your states to enact iGaming, not in the future, but now.
“IGaming is as safe as brick and mortar casino gaming and taps into a potential revenue stream that is currently funneling to unregulated offshore operators. By legalizing and regulating both iGaming and mobile sports betting, you safely can generate a substantial new revenue source for your most valuable constituent services.”
Robins pitches online gambling as a defense against economy, budget woes
As states continue to grapple with budgets and often turn to gambling industry profits as a hedge, Robins made an appeal in the face of a worsening national economy.
“We still have work to do to educate that this is actually a benefit,” Robins said.
“It will add not just more tax revenue, but more jobs and will grow everyone’s businesses. This will be incredibly important, also, as we experience rapid inflation with signs pointing toward the potential of a prolonged economic recession. And in fact, the stigma and fear associated with online gaming seems to rely on inaccurate and outdated ideas of how the technology works.”