On Monday, Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:TRWH) announced it had reached deals with two of the biggest players in US sports betting, FanDuel and DraftKings, to provide their services in Colorado.
That announcement comes just days after Twin River closed on a $51 million deal to purchase the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras casinos in the state. The acquisition secures three of Colorado’s sports betting licenses for the Rhode Island-based gaming company.
Twin River already had a presence in the state, as it owns Arapahoe Park and its network of off-track betting parlors.
These newly-formed partnerships with DraftKings and FanDuel allow us to provide an unmatched sports betting experience to Colorado, not only with their mobile betting access, but also with an exciting DraftKings retail sportsbook location inside one of our newly acquired casinos,” Twin River President and CEO George Papanier said in a statement.
The deal is subject to Colorado passing regulations that allow casinos to offer sports betting, and FanDuel and DraftKings successfully obtaining the appropriate licensing.
In the release, Twin River said it plans to keep the third sports betting license for its own sportsbook.
FanDuel vs. DraftKings
DraftKings and FanDuel currently operate against each other in six states where sports betting is legal. Both have retail operations in New York and Iowa, and offer online and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. DraftKings also has operations in Mississippi and New Hampshire.
According to records from the gaming commissions in their respective states, FanDuel has the largest market share in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in terms of handle. DraftKings has the edge in West Virginia and Indiana. Those are the states where the two are the leaders in handle, thanks to the growth of online betting.
In recent weeks, the two have been working to cut into their respective rival’s lead in targeted states.
For example, FanDuel ran its second “Spread the Love” promotion in Indiana, offering bettors an additional point on the spread of the Indiana University-Michigan State men’s basketball game for every 250 bettors who participated. The line initially started at 3.5 points and ended with Hoosier bettors getting more than 100 points, easily allowing for a cover and $45.45 in betting funds on a $50 wager.
That came on the heels of a similar promotion FanDuel offered for the Indianapolis Colts-New Orleans Saints Monday Night Football game last month.
Not to be outdone, DraftKings launched its “Break the Book” campaign in Pennsylvania. DraftKings gave a percentage of its handle from Jan. 17-26 in the state back in the form of free bets. It started at a minimum of 5 percent and increased a percentage point for every $2 million in handle between $10 million and $20 million. That meant bettors could have received up to 10 percent of their bets back, in time to use that funding for this weekend’s Super Bowl.
As of the last update, DraftKings reported $15.6 million in handle, meaning bettors would receive at least 7 percent of their handle back in free bets.
What’s Next in Colorado
In November, voters went to the polls in Colorado and approved Proposition DD, allowing sports betting by a slim margin, 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent. The close vote belied previous polling, which indicated the issue enjoyed 62 percent support.
Lawmakers there proposed legalizing sports betting to help address a $100 million deficit in the state’s water budget. The state will tax sportsbooks’ net proceeds at a rate of 10 percent.
On Friday, the Colorado Division of Gaming will offer two Stakeholder Rulemaking Working Group meetings in Golden. The purpose of the meetings will allow the public to observe the discussions state officials hold regarding the updates that have been made to the state’s sports betting proposed rules.
Applications for sports wagering licenses were due to state officials on Jan. 15. The division anticipates awarding temporary licenses by May 1.