DraftKings Standing Out From the Competition With Its Use of AI

  • DraftKings started using AI in its operations about a decade ago
  • The deployment of AI can help cut costs and boost user satisfaction
  • CEO Jason Robins believes that the biggest operators can benefit most
DraftKings sign
DraftKings is one of the leading companies in the gambling space for leveraging artificial intelligence, according to an industry analyst. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A big focus

Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into all sectors and the gambling world is no different. Speaking about the topic, Jeffries Equity Research Analyst David Katz revealed that DraftKings has already spent a decade integrating AI and is one of the best companies in the industry currently doing so, in addition to Station Casinos and Light & Wonder.

no longer needing a human to decide to cut off a player who is betting above their means

The Boston-based company began using machine learning as part of its daily fantasy sports offering before extending it into sports betting. Katz outlined some of the positive uses of this technology for operators, such as no longer needing a human to decide to cut off a player who is betting above their means or saving users time by customizing their experience.

Constantly looking at new uses

Jason Park is one the main drivers of AI within the company, transitioning to the new role of Chief Transformation Officer at the start of this month having acted as the Chief Financial Officer at DraftKings for almost five years. The reason behind this change is to “capture large efficiency opportunities” that could lead to significant increases in profitability over the coming years through the deployment of “cutting-edge technologies.”

In what is a very competitive market with small margins, Katz believes that operators like DraftKings can differentiate themselves using advanced technology to gain an edge.

a large chunk of the company’s odds-setting and general operating expenses

One particular area he believes holds plenty of promise is customer service, as this accounts for a large chunk of the company’s odds-setting and general operating expenses. Becoming more efficient in this area could allow DraftKings to slim down the 500 or so people currently working in the trading division.

Clearing up some misconceptions

While some people argue that using AI could make people more addicted to gambling by customizing the experience to their exact tastes, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins believes that this won’t be the case within his own company. He said that DraftKings mainly uses AI to run chatbots, improve client satisfaction, and write code, rather than trying to get people to gamble more.

When asked in March at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference about what companies can best take advantage of AI, Robins said that the largest operators can benefit the most due to the robustness of their data.

To showcase the potential to improve the user experience, Robins used the example of someone who loves betting on their favorite football team. AI can present the relevant games to the user at the top of their page rather than having to scroll down a long way to find them, making everything more convenient.

While noting that he feels gamblers have to take some responsibility for their addictions, Robins believes that AI models that map the behavioral patterns of users can help operators intervene when patterns suddenly change for the worse.

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