DraftKings has struck a deal to launch online and retail sports betting in Connecticut, through a new partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, operator of Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The agreement will see DraftKings roll out wagering in the state – once legislation passes – thereby expanding its presence in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York tri-state area.
“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,” DraftKings co-founder and president Matt Kalish said.
“The national expansion of regulated sports betting is among our top strategic priorities. DraftKings today is live with mobile sports betting in 10 states, more than any other operator in the US, and teaming up with the tribe will allow us to extend our reach even further.”
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s chairman Rodney Butler added that the agreement would reinforce its position as a leader in the gaming and entertainment industry.
“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,” Butler said. “Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”
While Connecticut is yet to legalize sports betting, this is expected to generate $175m in new revenue for the state in the first five years post-launch. Foxwoods holds exclusive rights to operate gaming in the state, alongside fellow tribal operator the Mohegan Tribe, meaning it will play a key role in any future market.
Efforts by the tribes to secure temporary approval to offer online gambling during the period their properties were closed as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) were rejected by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in April.
The deal also sees DraftKings become Foxwoods’ first daily fantasy sports (DFS) partner. It plans to roll out DFS in the state on December 13, supported by online promotions and contests, to ramp up fan engagement.
“DraftKings is a pioneer in the US digital sports entertainment and gaming market,” Jason Guyot, interim chief executive and president at Foxwoods, commented.
“Offering daily fantasy sports allows us to bring a new type of compelling and interactive online experience to our passionate sport fans,” he said. “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.”