DraftKings opens offices in Las Vegas; is a sportsbook next on the agenda? Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · January 17, 2020 at 7:00 am DraftKings has leased a large amount of office space in Town Square, an upscale mixed-use business, retail, and restaurant development on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, within view of the glittering resorts and underneath the landing path for McCarran International Airport. The sports betting and fantasy sports giant plans to grow its employment base at the location from the current 70 to more than 300 workers to manage the customer experience, sportsbook traders, and other services that support the company’s retail and online sports betting operations in eight states. Inside DraftKings new offices in Las Vegas DraftKings’ next location in Nevada might be a casino sportsbook. Co-founder Matt Kalish, who serves as DraftKings’ North America president, said Nevada “is the ground zero for sports betting, and we need to be a part of that market.” What that might look like is still to be determined. “We’re working on that now,” Kalish said Thursday. Since the nationwide legalization of sports betting in May 2018, DraftKings – which is still primarily known as a fantasy sports giant – has opened retail sportsbooks in three Iowa casinos and one each in New York, Mississippi and New Jersey casinos. The company has launched its sports betting app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire and West Virginia. Kalish said the company wants to be everywhere sports betting is legal, and that include Nevada. A retail sportsbook location, however, is what DraftKings needs in the Silver State, primarily because of gaming regulations requiring that a customer sign up in person at a sportsbook to use a mobile sports betting app. “It’s different than New Jersey, where you can download the DraftKings app and start playing,” Kalish said of the market where up to 85% of the state’s monthly sports bets are place online. Johnny Avello provides a tour of the new DraftKings offices in Las Vegas “There’s not an urgency, but we would need a deal and a physical location to solve that issue,” Kalish said. “This is the highest sports betting revenue market in the county. We want to be here.” DraftKings, which is headquartered in Boston, is going public this year through a reverse merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition, a blank check procurement company, and the purchase of sports wagering technology platform SBTech. DraftKings said it will incorporate its public listing in Nevada. Backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from new investors, analysts said DraftKings will be valued at $3.3 billion when the deal closes. The company will then have more than $500 million of unrestricted cash on its balance sheet, which could lead to a Nevada presence. In 2018, DraftKings hired well-respected Las Vegas sportsbook director Johnny Avello away from Wynn Resorts to oversee the launch of its sportsbook business. Avello took part in the office tour with Kalish. He said DraftKings’ presence in Las Vegas, through the large open-space environment leased through WeWork, which provides shared workspaces for technology businesses, is a major step for the company. Avello said the office will be staffed 24/7. “It’s an amazing environment, and we’ve grown so quickly,” Avello said. Avello didn’t hint about any casino sports book potential for DraftKings in Nevada, but he did tell the media that he’ll release his odds on the Academy Awards this week in New Jersey at DraftKings’ retail sportsbook at Resorts Atlantic City and on the company’s mobile platform in the state. Avello used to release odds on the awards show in Nevada, but for entertainment purposes only. A gaming license would also allow DraftKings to provide its daily fantasy sports product in Nevada. #exclusive – DraftKings opens offices in Las Vegas; is a sportsbook next on the agenda? –@howardstutz, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/xsGz01Mq07 @DKSportsbook @ShopTownSquare #CDCgaming — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) January 17, 2020 DraftKings and fantasy sports rival FanDuel both departed the state in 2015, when the Gaming Control Board equated daily fantasy sports to gambling and said operators would have to be licensed under regulations governing sports betting providers. Kalish, along with DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and Paul Liberman, founded the company in 2011 as a daily fantasy sports provider. He said the interest in the company has been growing, illustrating that by saying that DraftKings received more than 45,000 job applications last year. “We’re excited to be in Nevada,” he said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.