You really can’t go more than a few days without DraftKings making some new advance in their pursuit of domination in the US sports betting market. The sports betting/daily fantasy sports company has just gone live with their online/mobile wagering platform in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is now the 7th US state where the DraftKings sports betting app is available joining Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. DraftKings becomes the fifth company available to Pennsylvania mobile sports bettors along with FanDuel, Parx, Fox Bet, Rivers and SugarHouse. DraftKings has partnered with Penn National Gaming to offer their services to Pennsylvania residents.
Pennsylvania would have significantly more companies looking to enter the state were it not for their awful and borderline absurd 36% tax on sports betting profits. Jamie Shea, head of DraftKings Digital Sportsbook, tried to put a positive spin on the usurious tax by emphasizing the upsides of the Pennsylvania market:
“We think the good outweighs the bad. It is what it is. I think things will change. We’re noticing with different states that they’re taking what works best. Pennsylvania’s a great state to be in. We’re so excited to be here. I think there’s going to be great business. I think for us, it was the right move.”
Tax addicted government notwithstanding, Pennsylvania is a great state for sports betting. I share her optimism that as more states enter the market taxes and fees will moderate due to competitive pressures. It’ll be simple economics–the states with a more realistic tax/fee structure will bring in more revenue, attract investment and corporate relocation, add jobs, and countless other ancillary economic benefits. The economic potential of creating dynamic and competitive sports betting industry is substantially greater than just extorting taxes out of companies and benefits the entire state, not just politicians and bureaucrats. Of course, some states could care less about that and are concerned only for politicians and bureaucrats. Hopefully that won’t be the case in Pennsylvania but their track record in this regard is downright shameful.
Jason Robins, co-founder and chief executive officer at DraftKings, didn’t get into the mundane details like taxation focusing instead on the sports fandom of Pennsylvania residents:
“We have seen immense success over the last year with our sportsbook product and are thrilled for this pivotal next step as DraftKings expands into Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is home to two of the biggest sports cities in the world and multiple big-time college programs, with some of the most die-hard fan bases of all-time. We could not be more excited to introduce those fans to our top-rated mobile sportsbook and provide them with the unrivaled experience that has become synonymous with DraftKings.”
DraftKings is also reporting that they’ve surpassed the $1 billion USD mark in total sports betting action.