DraftKings Enters NC Sports Betting Market On A Hot Streak

DraftKings is set to enter the North Carolina online sports betting market as the No. 1 operator in the industry after a banner year in revenue.

Even though the company revealed fourth-quarter results last week that missed Wall Street’s estimates, it still saw 44% growth in revenue year-over-year and remains the market leader in the mobile sports betting sector. During an earnings call on Feb. 16, DraftKings executives outlined the company’s 2024 strategy and predicted a smooth entry into North Carolina next Month.

DraftKings is live in 24 states including Virginia and Tennessee, reaching 46% of the U.S. population. Over the last quarter, the company’s monthly unique players increased to 3.5 million, an increase of 37% compared to the same quarter in 2022.

What does DraftKings expect for North Carolina?

The March 11 launch of North Carolina online sports betting is around the corner, and DraftKings Sportsbook NC is among the eight operators on track to go live on that date.

They’ve met the required deadlines and undergone the North Carolina Lottery Commission’s extensive licensing process. Customers will be able to begin making deposits on March 1. This pre-launch period will help them get ready by familiarizing themselves with the sports betting apps ten days ahead of being able to place wagers.

When an analyst asked how the North Carolina market would compare to the company’s entry into Ohio and Michigan, DraftKings chairman and CEO Jason Robins responded with confidence and optimism.

“North Carolina will be similar. It’s a little smaller population-wise in Ohio, but it’s a top 10 state, and we expect it to be a great launch and contribute in a meaningful way. And it’ll be pretty standard. I mean, at this point, our playbook’s honed, so we’re not going to approach North Carolina any differently, other than a few optimizations that we always make around the edges. But I think you’re going to see North Carolina be a very similar state launch to the ones that you mentioned that we did last year.”

DraftKings works to improve its app offerings

With fierce competition like industry stalwart FanDuel Sportsbook NC and the Disney-backed newcomer ESPN Bet, DraftKings will have to stay on its toes, continually innovating to protect its market share and retain customers. One way of doing that is to improve and expand its betting options and games within the company’s app. Robins addressed this during the earnings call.

“I think it’s always easier when you have a product that you’re introducing customers to for the first time to get them to try new things and harder to get them if they’ve been using the product in a certain way for years to change behavior. So, it’s more of a grind, but the trends are absolutely continuing every single year in the oldest states that we have.”

Like some other operators including ESPN Bet, DraftKings wants to offer more types of parlay bets and also improve upon low parlay penetration in other states.

“From a parlay mix perspective, the trends are continuing to move in the right direction. So, I think that’s another one that’ll just be a continuous tailwind for us over time and eventually it’ll converge with what we’re seeing in the new states. It’ll just take a little longer.”

NC ready for DraftKings and its competitors

This week NCLC provided several updates on its readiness for the beginning of online sports betting next month. The agency is providing extra help to operators by assigning specialists to assist them in overcoming any last-minute hurdles so companies can obtain the necessary Certificate of Compliance to go live.

About the Author

Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She's a die-hard women's basketball fan and founded the website Hoopfeed.com as a result of that passion. She loves writing about sports on all levels and has previous experience covering sports betting regulations, operator marketing campaigns and women's sports gambling topics.