• DraftKings operates both a retail and online sportsbook in New Jersey as well as a retail sportsbook in Mississippi.
  • This marks the second sports betting partnership for the MLB, as the league signed a deal with MGM resorts last November.
  • DraftKings will now have access to official league data to use for their live betting products.

BOSTON – DraftKings, a growing sportsbook operator and daily fantasy sports giant, has officially been named an “Authorized Gaming Operator” of Major League Baseball (MLB). The multi-year deal allows DraftKings to use MLB trademarks as well as official league data for their live betting products.

“This deal speaks to the commitment we have to our customers and sports leagues alike while providing the safest and most entertaining American-made sportsbook,” said Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer at DraftKings in a press release.

“As a result of this agreement, our customers will experience enhanced live wagering offerings for all MLB games.”

Live betting, or in-game wagering, allows sports bettors to place wagers on betting odds that update in real-time as the game plays out. This feature is ideal for MLB betting given its relatively slow pace compared to other popular team sports. It also helps to keep fans tuned into each game.

“Given DraftKings’ success in driving fan engagement and immersive experiences, we’re looking forward to an expanded partnership and further collaboration on engaging products,” said Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive Vice President, Gaming & New Business Ventures.

Where Will This Deal Affect DraftKings?

Through a previous partnership with Resorts Atlantic City, DraftKings operates both a retail sportsbook inside their New Jersey property as a well as a state-wide mobile sports betting app.

DraftKings also operates land-based sportsbooks inside Mississippi and is set to open a land-based sportsbook in New York through their partnership with del Lago Resorts. Mississippi sports betting laws allow for on-site mobile betting apps, however, New York does not.

Other states in the future might also be able to experience the enhanced MLB live betting feature that DraftKings plans to offer. DraftKings has also secured a partnership with Caesars Entertainment which allows the sports betting operator to gain access to states where Caesars has an existing facility.

Caesars operates casinos in 12 U.S. states, several of which have either passed legislation or have at least been considering legal sports betting.

Iowa and Indiana are both hoping to open casino sportsbooks this fall while North Carolina is only a signature away from legalizing sports wagering at their two tribal locations.

How This Deal Will Affect The MLB?

The MLB, along with other sports franchises, have been lobbying state governments to mandate the use of official league data since the federal ban on sports betting was repealed in May of 2018.

Only two states in that time have given in to the pressure from sports leagues and those states are Illinois and Tennessee. Neither state at this time has an active sportsbook.

The MLB has also taken different approaches to gain a share of the growing US sports betting market. In November of 2018, MGM Resorts International became the first-ever “Official Gaming Partner of MLB” which included access to official league data.

The strategy of targeting sports betting operators is only one of many for Major League Baseball to push for the use of official league data. In February of 2019, the MLB announced an exclusive global partnership with sports data intelligence company, Sportradar.

That deal was made to expand and enhance the distribution of the league’s real-time data across the world. The DraftKings deal with the MLB comes after Sportradar, which means that the sportsbook operator should get the fastest and most accurate information possible for their live betting odds.

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