DraftKings Inks Blockchain Deal and Opens New Hampshire Sportsbook on Eve of Entain Buyout Deadline

  • DraftKings Marketplace is partnering with Polygon in a strategic blockchain collaboration
  • A DraftKings exec said firm was “bullish” on the possibilities in blockchain, NFTs, and crypto
  • A new DraftKings Sportsbook at Filotimo opened in Dover, New Hampshire on October 18
  • October 19 is the deadline for DraftKings to make a formal offer for gambling firm Entain


DraftKings display outside NASDAQ in Times Square
With its Entain buyout decision deadline looming, DraftKings nevertheless found time to ink a blockchain deal and open a new retail sportsbook in New Hampshire on the same day. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Update October 19, 2021: Entain announced in a Tuesday statement to the London Stock Exchange that DraftKings now has until November 16 to formalize its takeover offer. The extension of the October 19 deadline came as the deal discussions between the two parties continue.

Two announcements in a day

DraftKings is going about business as usual, despite an October 19 deadline looming for its Entain takeover decision, by announcing a blockchain deal and opening a new retail sportsbook in New Hampshire on the same day.

The latest announcement by the Boston-based sports betting giant on October 18 was the strategic blockchain collaboration for its DraftKings Marketplace arm with Ethereum-based scaling platform Polygon.

DraftKings took to Twitter to announce the news, adding the deal would also land it validator status on the Polygon network, in addition to having its own stake pool.

This collaboration gives DraftKings Marketplace a “scalable, eco-friendly blockchain solution that enables added throughput and expanded capabilities.”

Preparing for Web 3.0

In a news release, DraftKings co-founder and president of global product and technology Paul Liberman spoke of the opportunities inherent in the Polygon deal.

Liberman said Polygon’s “vast insights and proven products” were invaluable to the future vision of DraftKings Marketplace.

Web 3.0 is the third generation of internet services for websites and applications, with the ultimate objective being to establish more intelligent and connected websites. DraftKings Marketplace, meanwhile, is a mobile and online collectibles ecosystem that supports custom non-fungible token (NFT) drops, along with secondary market dealings. DraftKings Marketplace has hosted NFT drops of leading athletes including Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, and Naomi Osaka, all of which sold out almost instantly. Headquartered in the city of Bengaluru in the Indian state of Karnataka, Polygon has, according to a DraftKings news release, already on-boarded “millions to Web 3.0.”

Liberman added that despite DraftKings Marketplace only entering the market in August, it is “bullish on the possibilities that blockchain, NFTs, cryptocurrency and more will present as we prepare for Web 3.0.”

New Dover sportsbook

The news DraftKings announced first on Monday was that it had — in concert with the New Hampshire Lottery and Filotimo Casino & Restaurant — opened up in Dover, New Hampshire, a sister retail version of the DraftKings Sportsbook at Filotimo.

Market analysts Briefing.com shared news of DraftKings expansion in New Hampshire on Twitter.

The new DraftKings Sportsbook at Filotimo in Dover represents the firm’s — and New Hampshire’s — third brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

The city of Dover and the town of Rollinsford share the DraftKings establishment, which features multiple sports wagering kiosks, 11 televisions within the sportsbook, a sports bar and charitable gaming, which includes “games of chance and bingo, a bowling alley, and an arcade.”

New Hampshire Lottery’s executive director Charlie McIntyre said the Dover sportsbook would further reinforce New Hampshire as the “premier sports betting destination in the northeast.”

He added that the lottery knows the location “will continue to make a major positive impact on our ongoing efforts to maximize revenue for our schools here in New Hampshire.”

new venue will provide customers with a “premier skin-in-the-game viewership experience”

In an official news release, DraftKings’ senior director of retail sportsbook Michael Kibort said the new venue will provide customers with a “premier skin-in-the-game viewership experience in the live free or die state.”

Entain deadline day looms

DraftKings made both announcements on the eve of the deadline for its potential acquisition of Entain. Tuesday is the cut-off date set by UK’s takeover regulator for DraftKings to make a formal offer for British gambling firm Entain, potentially kicking off a $22bn-plus bidding war.

Shares in Entain, which soared to record highs late last month after it received a $22.4bn takeover proposal from DraftKings, got boosted by speculation Entain’s US partner MGM could also come to the bidding table.

According to Reuters, after DraftKings made its bid, MGM said any deal that would make Entain a competitor in the US would require its consent.

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