DraftKings will launch an online casino in Pennsylvania on Friday after completing a soft launch held on Wednesday and Thursday.

DraftKings New Jersey Mobile Betting
DraftKings launches an online casino in Pennsylvania this week after starting a similar operation in New Jersey in 2018. The company also operates DFS contests and sportsbooks around the United States. (Image: AP)

DraftKings Continues Gambling Expansion Efforts

The company, known more for DFS and sports betting, has expanded into the online casino market, having launched an online casino in New Jersey in 2018 under the Resorts Atlantic City license.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board gave approval to DraftKings on Wednesday for an interactive gaming operator license in the Keystone State. DraftKings will become the 10th online casino in Pennsylvania.

DraftKings will likely operate under the Hollywood Casino online license owned by Penn National, with whom DraftKings has a market-access agreement. The outlet expects DraftKings’ online casino to offer the same games as it does in New Jersey, including slots, video poker, blackjack, and roulette, with the possibility that the casino will be integrated into the online sportsbook app.

Tim Dent, chief compliance officer for DraftKings, released a statement saying the online casino will be fully operational on Friday.

“DraftKings appreciates the collaborative working relationship we have established with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and thanks them for their thoughtful leadership in creating a consumer-focused, competitive iGaming market,” he said.

The PGCB also gave DraftKings approval to continue operating its sportsbook for five more years. The company has operated under a conditional license since last November.

iGaming Sees Rise During Pandemic

Online gambling’s popularity has been on the rise over recent months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the closure of brick-and-mortar casinos and left people stuck in their homes due to stay-at-home orders.

As a result, Pennsylvania saw a nearly 25% boost in online casino revenue in March, compared to February, with a record high of $24.3 million.

DraftKings became a publicly-traded company on the Nasdaq exchange last week, trading under the symbol DKNG and receiving a market value of $6 billion. It was trading for just under $20 a share as of Thursday morning.

In addition to its gaming operations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the company operates sportsbooks in Indiana, West Virginia, and Colorado, as well as DFS contests in all but a handful of states where they are prohibited by law.