EXCLUSIVE: DraftKings Benefits From Non-NFL Sports Growth, Eyes Horse Racing And Election Betting Expansion

Zinger Key Points
  • DraftKings partnered with Churchill Downs to offer horse race betting like the Kentucky Derby to users.
  • While the NFL remains the biggest market, other sports are helping DraftKings keep users after the NFL season ends.

Strong launches in Ohio and Massachusetts, customer retention and market share wins are giving DraftKings Inc DKNG the confidence to raise full-year guidance in the competitive sports betting market. Looking beyond the high-powered NFL betting segment, DraftKings is seeing other sports shine through and sees new opportunities like horse racing and election betting as ways to keep customers. 

Horse Racing, Election Betting Opportunities To Keep Users: For the first time, DraftKings will offer betting on the Kentucky Derby as part of its DK Horse platform launched in partnership with TwinSpires, a unit of Churchill Downs CHDN.

“Having everything that people want is of critical importance. Our goal is to have things others don’t have," DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told Benzinga. 

Robins said it’s important to add platforms like horse racing in order to retain users. “They won’t see any reason to go elsewhere, unless if we don’t have something they want. We’re not forcing our customers to go elsewhere,” he said.

Robins said the company is excited about its first year offering Kentucky Derby betting with partner TwinSpires.

Collaborating with Churchill Downs proved to be an ideal match for DraftKings, as it provided a platform for the company in the horse racing market. This industry requires forging deals with individual racetracks and content providers, which Churchill Downs facilitated.

Robins said speed to market and not having to build from scratch were the biggest factors in partnering with TwinSpires.

Another future growth area for DraftKings could be election betting, if it were to become legal to do so in the United States.

DraftKings offers betting on the upcoming 2024 U.S. presidential election to those outside the U.S., like residents of Ontario, Canada.

"It’s more popular than you might think outside the U.S., a lot of people around the world, particularly in our neighbor in Canada, pay attention."

Robins told Benzinga the company is continuing to work with regulators to get election betting approved for states that offer legalized betting.

“I think if it were in the U.S. it would be even bigger. I don’t see any particular reason not to allow for election betting in the U.S.”

Related Link: DraftKings Pushes Diversifcation Efforst With Streaming Video Service, What Investors Should Know 

Sports Growth 2023: Robins was asked about the effects of the NBA and NHL Playoffs series lasting seven games, which results in more betting opportunities for users.

“It’s really just like the broadcasters, an extra game means extra revenue on average.”


The DraftKings CEO said the extra games aren’t necessarily enough to swing a quarter, but can be helpful in helping provide extra revenue opportunities.

“Those types of close series really engage the fan.”

Robins mentioned that it was premature to gauge the strength of betting on the NFL and the NFL Draft for the 2023 season, stating, "It's just too early to tell what [the] NFL is going to look like."

Robins noted the company doesn’t usually get a good read on NFL betting momentum until August or September.

DKNG Price Action: DraftKings shares are up 15.5% to $24.63 at the time of writing. 

Hear more from Jason Robins as a featured speaker at the Benzinga Sports Betting Titans virtual event on May 24. 

Now Read: EXCLUSIVE: DraftKings CEO Sizes Up Sports Betting Competition: 'Always Good To Understand How Your Competitors Are Doing'

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: Sports BettingSportsExclusivesInterviewGeneral2024 electionJason RobinsKentucky DerbyNBA PlayoffsnflNFL DraftNHL Playoffs
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