DraftKings Opens Final Mississippi Coast Sportsbook and Resorts Atlantic City
DraftKings opened its first two retail sportsbooks at Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville, Mississippi and in Atlantic City are Resorts Casino Hotel.
With the Scarlet Pearl opening, all 12 Mississippi Coast casinos now offer sports betting, which launched August 1 at the MGM-owned Beau Rivage and Gold Strike, followed by Sam’s Town, Horseshoe and IP Casino, which offers a sports book operated by FanDuel.
Nicholas “Nico” Sfanos, a former sportsbook manager for Station Casinos in Nevada, has been named manager at DraftKings at Scarlet Pearl Sportsbook, offering live, in-game betting with three windows. As in all 12 Mississippi sportsbooks, on-premise wagering is required; on-site kiosks and on-premise mobile betting are expected to be approved soon by the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
DraftKings Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Matt Kalish said, “We’re thrilled to be working with Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, whose leadership has a high bar for quality and a forward-thinking approach to sports betting; a perfect fit for DraftKings. We’re excited to bring and offer an innovative sports betting experience to sports fans in one of the largest and most competitive gaming markets in the U.S.”
Scarlet Pearl Chief Executive Officer LuAnn Pappas added, “We’re going to be able to offer a lot of different bets that it would have been very difficult for us to do on own. Our collaboration with DraftKings is an opportunity for us to continue to set high standards on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and give our players a new home for sports betting.”
The Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort offers 1,170 slots, including 80 video poker machines, and 37 table games, plus a 300-room hotel.
Based in Boston, daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings introduced its mobile app in New Jersey in August. Its sportsbook ads feature basketball legend Charles Barkley. The company also signed a deal to offer sports betting at the Del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York, but the state has not yet approved sports wagering rules.
Mississippi took in $31.8 million in sports wagering revenue in September, with American football accounting for $22.9 million of that total.
In Atlantic City, DraftKings will operate a new 5,000-square-foot sportsbook at Resorts Hotel Casino scheduled to open this week.
DraftKings has run an online sportsbook through its partnership with Resorts since August, but will now move to operating the casinos full on-site sportsbook.
Most Atlantic City casinos—including Resorts—have been running their live sportsbooks in temporary spaces, but Resorts will now join the Ocean Resort in Atlantic City in opening a completed facility.
“It is critical that DraftKings’ offering is the best-of-breed in both digital and physical sports book,” Kalish told the Associated Press. “Both are very large markets within the legal, regulated sports book industry.”
Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts, said 150 workers have been building the multi-million DraftKings sports book for 2 ½ months.
“We have just one mission—to make sure we are first in this market,” he told the AP. “We are going to perform at a really high level.”
The facility will include a walls of video screens showing multiple games, plush leather chairs with cellphone chargers, and VIP areas with bottle service, the casino said in a press release.
Resorts also has a partnership with SBTech to cover sportsbook operations.
Ahead of the announcement concerning Resorts, DraftKings announced a new sports-betting product currently available only in New Jersey called Sportsbook Pools, which emulates the company’s daily fantasy sports product. The format allows a group of players to make picks from certain games and compete for a top prize.
“Millions of Americans have been playing in sports pools for years with their friends and coworkers, and now one of the most popular ways that fans can get skin in the game is live on DraftKings Sportsbook,” Kalish said in a press release.