Boston-based DraftKings expanded its New England footprint by announcing a sports-betting partnership Monday with the Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut.
Connecticut, like Massachusetts, has not yet legalized sports betting, with casino operations limited to the state’s two Native American tribes. If and when sports betting is approved — the Connecticut Legislature reconvenes next month — DraftKings will operate the mobile sports betting operation for Foxwoods, the largest casino resort in the United States.
Despite support from Governor Charlie Baker and lobbying from DraftKings, the Red Sox, Patriots, Revolution, MGM Springfield Casino, and others, the Massachusetts Legislature has signaled that passage of a sports betting bill is not imminent.
Currently, three states adjacent to Massachusetts — New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York — offer legal sports betting in New England.
“This is a landmark deal in collaboration with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation as well as a critical next step to bringing America’s top-rated sportsbook app to sports fans in Connecticut,” said Matt Kalish, cofounder and president of DraftKings North America, which also offers daily fantasy sports, in a statement. “The national expansion of regulated sports betting is among our top strategic priorities.”
Since merging with tech and finance interests and going public in April, DraftKings has seen its stock price more than double in value, and it is raising 2021 revenue expectations to $750 million-$850 million.
The company also has been busy forging partnerships with assorted leagues, teams, and media companies, including ESPN, MLB, the New York Giants, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Cubs, and Colorado Rockies. In the November elections, three more states passed sports betting bills, making it legal in 27 — more than half the country.
Since launching sports betting late in 2018, the state of Rhode Island has reaped $17.4 million in revenue. New Hampshire has collected $6.6 million in taxes since it legalized sports betting a year ago.
Estimates for what Massachusetts could reap in taxes range between $20 million-$35 million a year.
“Partnering with DraftKings, the most prominent name in sports betting, reinforces the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s position as a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the tribe, which owns and operates Foxwoods, said in a statement.
“We’ve proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut. Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”
This coming Sunday, DraftKings will become Foxwoods’s first-ever daily fantasy sports partner.
“DraftKings is a pioneer in the US digital sports entertainment and gaming market,” said Jason Guyot, interim chief executive and president for Foxwoods Resort Casino, in the release. “Offering daily fantasy sports allows us to bring a new type of compelling and interactive online experience to our passionate sport fans.
“By combining Foxwoods’ 29-year gaming legacy with DraftKings’ deep digital expertise, we’re well positioned to continue leading gaming advancements in the region and beyond,” he said.