DraftKings strikes deal with Chicago Cubs and opens another NH sportsbook

The daily fantasy provider turned multi-vertical gambling operator DraftKings has secured a deal with the Chicago Cubs.

DraftKings has inked a deal to become the official sports betting and daily fantasy partner of MLB’s Chicago Cubs, while also opening a second land-based sportsbook in the state of New Hampshire.

This comes after the sports betting giant announced that NBA icon, Michael Jordan would be joining the operator as a special advisor in exchange for an equity interest in the company.

DraftKings and the Chicago Cubs deal

Under the multi-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, DraftKings will become an official sports betting and daily fantasy partner of the team. The operator has also revealed plans to open a sportsbook facility at the team’s Wrigley Field Stadium.

While sports betting is now legal in the state of Illinois and DraftKings offers online and land-based betting, the development and construction of the sportsbook at Wrigley Field would require approval from the City of Chicago.

The deal was facilitated by the gambling expansion package, SB 690, which was signed into law last year. This legislation included a provision that allows sports venues with a capacity of 17,000 or more, to apply for a sports betting licence and offer mobile sports betting in a five-block radius. One of these licences would cost $10m.

DraftKings’ co-founder and president North America, Matt Kalish, said: “This is truly a historic moment, as we are thrilled to align with the renowned Chicago Cubs franchise and iconic Wrigley Field to provide sports bettors in Chicago with a revolutionary sports betting experience.”

Cubs’ president of business operations, Crane Kenney, said: “An increasing number of sports fans want to integrate sports betting into their game experience, and we’re excited to be one of the first to engage in developing a retail sportsbook at a professional sports venue.”

This deal builds upon DraftKings existing presence in the state of Illinois. Last month, the operator launched its online and mobile sports betting app in the state.

DraftKings’ second New Hampshire sportsbook

Along with the Chicago Cubs deal, DraftKings also announced the opening of its second land-based sportsbook venue in the state of New Hampshire.

The operator’s second sportsbook is located at the South Side Tavern sports bar in Manchester and features betting kiosks, wall-to-wall TVs, and seating areas.

Matt Kalish, Co-Founder and President, DraftKings North America, said: “We are proud to reveal DraftKings’ latest collaborative effort with the New Hampshire Lottery – DraftKings Sportsbook at Manchester. For the first time in the city, customers will be able to place retail bets on their favourite sports while watching the games in real time.”

Governor Chris Sununu said: “Sports betting has already been a big win for New Hampshire and it is exciting that the New Hampshire Lottery and DraftKings are continuing to expand opportunities to place sports bets, particularly as the NBA and NHL playoffs are heating up.

“New Hampshire is the go-to destination for sports betting in the northeast and the opening of the DraftKings Sportsbook at Manchester further increases opportunities to participate at a fun and popular tavern.”

New Hampshire became the second New England state to legalize sports betting in July 2019. Land-based, online and mobile sports betting is legal under the state’s law.

At the end of November, DraftKings was awarded an exclusive contract to offer sports betting after being selected through a competitive bidding process.

Under the agreement with the state lottery, New Hampshire will receive 50% of the operator’s sports betting revenue. This will help support the Lottery’s mission to generate funds for education in the Granite State.

Mobile sports betting, via the DraftKings app, launched in New Hampshire on 30 December 2019

DraftKings launched its first land-based sportsbook in New Hampshire last month, via its partnership with the New Hampshire Lottery and Eureka Casino’s venue, the Brook.

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