Business & Tech

DraftKings plans hundreds of new hires, move to Back Bay

An electronic advertisement for DraftKings hung on the side of Madison Square Garden in New York.
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press/File 2016
An electronic advertisement for DraftKings hung on the side of Madison Square Garden in New York.

Daily fantasy sports provider DraftKings said Thursday that it will hire nearly 300 new employees by the middle of 2019 and move to a bigger headquarters in the Back Bay.

The startup said it is relocating early next year from its office on Summer Street to a space at 500 Boylston Street that is more than double in size.

The hiring will bring the company’s Boston work force to at least 600, DraftKings said. The company will have about 100 workers located in other cities. The new hires will focus on engineering and product development.

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“We’re committed to the city of Boston and we’re here to stay,” chief executive Jason Robins said in an interview. “We’re very excited and optimistic about our growth, and we want to add a lot of people over the next few years.”

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The announcement comes as the company is trying to recast itself as a “sports-tech and media entertainment platform” with a reach beyond the business it built on daily fantasy sports. Players can pay to enter contests based on the real-life performance of athletes they select, then win prizes if their results are better than other participants.

DraftKings had a major setback in 2017, when federal antitrust regulators sued to block its merger with chief rival FanDuel, arguing that together the two companies could monopolize the young market for such games. The firms eventually agreed to go their separate ways.

The company is looking to solidify its position by offering entertainment beyond its paid games, for instance adding streaming EuroLeague basketball games last fall in an effort to give users more reasons to come to its platform.

But the chief moneymaker has always been NFL football.

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Chris Grove, managing director at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which follows the daily fantasy industry closely, said DraftKings took a commanding lead over FanDuel this NFL season, “in what many believe will be a one-winner market.”

His organization estimated customers spent $472 million on NFL contest entries at DraftKings, through December, compared with $261.6 million for FanDuel. The two have traditionally run neck and neck. But, Grove said overall spending on football has leveled off after a period of explosive growth, which is why it’s important for the companies to look to other business prospects.

Robins said DraftKings has seen growth in its football business as it takes over more of the market. “I think it’s pretty clear that we are the No. 1 player this year for the first time,” he said. “We don’t take that for granted.”

The company is also watching carefully as the US Supreme Court weighs a New Jersey case that could change the landscape for sports betting.

Robins said DraftKings is considering returning to the venture capital market to raise money again this year, largely to be prepared to build products around such opportunities.

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DraftKings last year raised more than $100 million in an investment round led by an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, bringing its total to at least $830 million.

DraftKings also faces a test in Massachusetts this year, as a law that gives the daily fantasy industry temporary legal status expires in July. A state panel has recommended state lawmakers make that permanent.

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.