Jason Robins under fire for saying he’s “on a mission” to make sure investors regret their decision to sell DraftKings stock

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DraftKings CEO Jason Robins is the subject of a Twitter backlash after suggesting investors could live to rue the day they offloaded shares in the Nasdaq-listed betting operator. 

“If you sold #DKNG today, just be aware that my team and I are on a mission to make you regret that decision more than any other decision you’ve ever made in your life,” he said, channelling Liam Neeson’s character in Hollywood blockbuster Taken

However, Twitter users were quick to respond, with some displaying evidence of Robins offloading DraftKings stock at least once a month between May and November of 2021.

In just seven trades throughout last year, the DraftKings co-founder offloaded shares totalling $91.6m as the business registered a net loss of $1.52bn for the fiscal year.

A year prior in 2020, Robins and fellow DraftKings co-founders Mathew Kalish and Paul Liberman were reported to have taken home combined compensation in excess of $600m in cash and equity – nearly $240m of which was paid to Robins as CEO despite the business making a net loss that year of $855.2m.

Kalish, who is president of DraftKings in North America, also capitalised on the DraftKings dip this week.

Robins moved to explain DraftKings’ long-term profitability prospects in last week’s investor day.

When asked if the operator had enough cash on the balance sheet to reach its profitability targets, he said: “If there’s anything I want people to take away from today’s presentation, it’s three things. One is the playbook is working. Two is that if we execute that playbook, we are able to get to profitability. And third is that we have more than sufficient capital on the balance sheet in order to execute that playbook. We have a multi-year plan that we’re executing against that should allow us with cushion to be able to get profitable without changing our playbook at all.”

Some DraftKings investors want Robins to put his money where his mouth is in the form of a major stock purchase. Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg purchased 10,000 shares of his company’s common stock for $710,000 on Wednesday, for example.

Other users have compared DraftKings’ market cap and executive compensation plan with other companies in the space and decided that things don’t quite add up, while others have sprung to Robins’ defence, insisting the stock sales are an ordinary way for executives to pay themselves.

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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