Caught Sleeping: Kicking Butt and Taking Names

The first mobile sports betting application in New Jersey was introduced last week by DraftKings. What happened to the major gaming suppliers? Richard Schuetz explains why a nimble tech-savvy company beat them to the punch.

Caught Sleeping: Kicking Butt and Taking Names

DraftKings, a company that spent much of its existence working to convince the world that it was not a gambling company, just kicked the butt of those companies that comprise the ancien régime of the U.S. gambling world. This was accomplished by DraftKings becoming the first company to launch a mobile sports wagering app in the state of New Jersey. How was this possible? One does not want to exclude stupidity on the part of the established American brands that allowed this to happen.

The center of the sports betting universe in the United States has been Nevada for many years. This coincides with the location of the home offices of many of the largest gaming firms in the world. These firms have grown to be quit large, and yet a new kid on the block just made them look rather foolish, for that new firm is the first to occupy the space that truly is the future of any meaningful sports betting presentation in New Jersey, that being, mobile applications ring-fenced to the state.

It is as if we have a fleet of overladen oil tankers lumbering about on their missions, chugging from some corporate inspired Point A to a Point B, when a speedboat comes along and circles them with ease before stomping on the accelerator and leaving them well in its wake.

I would guess that the corporate behemoths have all kinds of reasons why this event both happened, and why it is unimportant in their eyes. This episode may not be unimportant, however, and it might be a clarion call for the ancien régime to wake up. While these beasts were figuring out yet another way to suck the value out of the gaming customer’s experience with yet another new charge, or the depreciation of the value proposition of another game, these new kids on the block called DraftKings were thinking about the future, and they were thinking about the future before it happened. DraftKings developed a good technological product, had a better understanding of what the player wanted, and got that product to market first in New Jersey. What the ancien régime should learn, and should learn quickly, is they need to figure out a way to get nimble. The world is changing, and it is changing fast, and the winners will be those that can maneuver. I would guess that each of the established gaming firms will soon be forming an internal task force to study this issue, will bring in some outside consultants, form some subcommittees, and evaluate this situation to death – or pretend it did not happen.

Articles by Author: Richard Schuetz

Richard Schuetz started dealing blackjack for Bill Harrah 47 years ago, and has traveled the world as a casino executive, educator and regulator. He is sincerely appreciative of the help he received from his friends and colleagues throughout the gaming world in developing this article, understanding that any and all errors are his own.