DraftKings extends GNOG acquisition deadline and launches online sports betting in Puerto Rico

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DraftKings will offer retail and online sports betting in Puerto Rico for the very first time after expanding its relationship with Foxwoods owner the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

The Tribe operates the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino in Puerto Rico since November last year, where DraftKings now intends to open its new retail sportsbook. 

The Tribe also operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, one of North America’s largest integrated resort casino destinations, where DraftKings already offers retail sports betting. In addition, the two operators successfully launched online sports betting and iGaming in partnership in the state in October 2021.

DraftKings’ new sportsbook will be located inside the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino, and is expected to open in the coming weeks pending the receipt of applicable licences and regulatory approvals. 

Once complete, the sportsbook will feature a video wall, bar and dining services, two over-the-counter ticket windows and six betting kiosks.

Crucially, as Puerto Rican sports betting regulation requires customers to register accounts in-person in order to participate in online sports betting, the deal will allow bettors in the territory to access DraftKings services online. The operator does not currently offer any products – including daily fantasy sports – in the region.

DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish: “Puerto Rico is known for its rich and vibrant sports culture, and we look forward to being able to provide fans with a safe and legal form of sports betting.”

DraftKings said it intends to make its DFS offering available to customers in Puerto Rico, in addition to its online and retail sports betting products.

“Since establishing our relationship with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Foxwoods more than a year ago, we’ve seen immense success, which can be attributed to the collaborative efforts between the organisations and shared vision for providing customers with the very best,” said Matt Kalish, president and co-founder of DraftKings North America.

“Puerto Rico is known for its rich and vibrant sports culture, and we look forward to being able to provide fans with a safe and legal form of sports betting through our retail and online sportsbooks.”

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, added: “We have made tremendous strides in the sports betting space in our relationship with DraftKings, which has continued to be a valuable partner, through our online and retail experiences in the state of Connecticut. 

“As we expand our partnership with DraftKings to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico at the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino, we are confident that we will continue to create unforgettable memories for customers and sports fans alike.”

The first operator approved to offer legal sports betting in Puerto Rico was BetMGM, after an agreement with Casino Del Mar saw the brand open the doors to a retail sportsbook at the La Concha Resort in San Juan in February.

The operator expects to launch its online sports betting service on the island in the near future.

Gold rush

Elsewhere, DraftKings has extended the deadline for its acquisition of US casino operator Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG).

The deal, which was originally scheduled to complete in Q1 2022, has now been pushed back to 31 May 2022 as both parties continue to pursue the remaining regulatory approvals necessary to consummate the purchase.

The all-stock deal, which includes commercial agreements with Fertitta Entertainment and the Houston Rockets, was agreed in August 2021 and valued the transaction at $1.56bn.

Stock in DraftKings has plummeted in value by more than 61% since the acquisition was announced, from $52.36 per share at close on 9 August to $20.41 on 4 April.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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