US sports betting operators use social media to take advantage of DraftKings’ latest technical issues

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PointsBet tweeted on Saturday (19 March) to offer a $10 free bet to any customers experiencing technical problems with the DraftKings Sportsbook.

Reports from users across Twitter appeared to show widespread technical difficulties across the DraftKings platform over the weekend, with customers unable to log in, place or cash out bets.

Many expressed their frustration, given that the outage took place during a major event on the US sporting calendar; basketball tournament March Madness.

Several customers claimed to have lost money due to the outage as they were unable to access their accounts and cash out existing bets.

While PointsBet opted to tempt disappointed DraftKings customers to its own platform with a bonus, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy also attempted to convert customers to the Barstool Sportsbook, which is owned by Penn National Gaming. 

“We welcome all #DraftKings business,” he said in a tweet, though no special promotional offer was forthcoming.

DraftKings’ customer support page acknowledged that customers had been having trouble logging in on Saturday, before following up that the issue had been resolved around an hour later.

The operator, which runs its sportsbook on the SBTech technology it acquired in 2020, has experienced several outages since migrating onto the platform which have caught the attention of customers and competitors.

DraftKings was one of several US brands to have outages reported in the run-up to 2021’s Super Bowl, although at that time the sportsbook was still powered by Kambi.

The massive increase in betting traffic to Kambi in the run-up to the game saw several of its operator clients’ brands go down, as this was likely one of the highest levels of online betting volume seen in the regulated US market at the time.

Last month, DraftKings reported that it had increased its annual investment in product and technology by 50% in 2021 in order to better compete with rivals FanDuel and BetMGM.

During an investor call following the release of its Q4 and full-year 2021 financial results, CEO Jason Robins told analysts: “I think if you take a step back and look at the competitive picture, we’ve always said that we believe that product is where you win.

“Our strategy [in 2021] was to really pull forward a lot of the product and technology hiring that we needed to do. As we go forward, I think you should expect to see a meaningful slowdown in fixed costs, because for us, it was about trying to pull forward and achieve a higher level of scale, maybe a little ahead of where the revenue is.”

Investment into technology and product in 2021 saw the firm launch several new features on its sportsbook, including a new in-play offering and front-end user interface for its Flash Bet product, as well as parlay and same-game parlay insurance capabilities.

The operator’s share price rebounded somewhat last week, from as low as $15.20 on 14 March to $19.62 at the time of writing.

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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