While the Tar Heel State prepares for the 2024 launch of North Carolina sports betting, industry leader DraftKings is expanding its presence in the Carolinas.
This time, the focus is on South Carolina, as the Palmetto State became one of six initial states to debut DraftKings’ new peer-to-peer fantasy sports game “Pick6.”
The game launched on Dec. 6 and offers player picks from NFL and NBA contests. Winners can earn real money prizes.
Pick6 offers over/unders but not sports betting
The new DraftKings Pick6 game is the company’s first venture into an over/under style daily fantasy sports (DFS) contest. Users can access it on the DraftKings DFS app, which is separate from the DraftKings Sportsbook app live in 23 US states.
That number will increase next year as it intends to apply for Vermont, Puerto Rico and North Carolina sports betting licenses. Once the launches of DraftKings Sportsbook NC, VT and PR occur, the company will operate in over 50% of the US. In return, NC bettors get a trusted operator known for competitive odds, world-class customer service and an industry-leading operating platform.
But even ahead of NC sports betting, DraftKings’ Pick6 game debuts in a Carolina state and comes with the following guidelines:
– Players pay an entry fee toward a greater prize pool like other DraftKings competitions.
– Once entered, players select between two and six athletes and statistical categories for those athletes.
– DraftKings presents a number for each athlete and stat combo, and players choose if the athlete will get “more” or “less” than the given number.
For example, a player selects the number of receptions for the Carolina Panthers’ Adam Thielen. The player might receive a choice of “more” or “less” than 5.5 receptions in a game.
In effect, the game allows players to pick over-unders on individual player props, an increasingly popular sports betting category that will become available at DraftKings North Carolina once it goes live.
Expect Pick6 to expand quickly where legally possible
DraftKings’ Pick6 rollout came in six states, including:
– South Carolina.
Only two states (Maryland and Tennessee) offer mobile sports betting. According to Corey Gottlieb, DraftKings corporate product officer, DraftKings chose these markets based on statistical evidence and extensive vetting with state regulators to ensure Pick6 complied with all laws.
Pick6 incorporates features based on feedback from a survey sent to DraftKings users earlier this summer. Gottlieb told Legal Sports Report,
“Increasingly, we have gathered data that’s pushed us to this opportunity. This is a product space and audience ripe for continuing to put innovative, simple experiences in front of. Particularly, an athlete orientation, is what we understand about our user. Really obsessing with it, loving individual athletes has become very apparent, as opposed to teams. We’ve learned that through our fantasy product and sportsbook. We’ve been thinking for some time about how we get at that itch.”
DraftKings serves 44 DFS markets, including North and South Carolina. Assuming the company receives a favorable response in its six test markets, we expect expansion by the NFL playoffs and throughout the 2023-24 NBA season as quickly as possible, pending regulatory approval.
North Carolinians have another sports betting option across state lines
Even if you must go to South Carolina, the new Pick6 game might be worth it for North Carolinians. Currently, the real-money sports competition structure is the closest option to mobile wagering on player props and over/under bets.
Hope existed that a 2024 NC sports betting launch would come at the start of the year, opening up many new betting options in time for the NFL Playoffs. Unfortunately, that won’t happen after state regulators set a Dec. 27 deadline for operators to apply for licenses and ruled out a Super Bowl 2024 launch.
A March Madness launch is still in play, though, and DraftKings will factor into the discussion for the top operator when sports betting goes live.
Between July 11 and Oct. 11, DraftKings was the most-searched sportsbook among prospective NC operators, according to Google Trends.
At the latest, North Carolina sportsbook promos will be available by June 14, 2024.