The gold rush from overseas on the nascent US legal sports betting market appears underway.
In May, Paddy Power Betfair entered the US legal sports betting market to great fanfare with its acquisition of FanDuel. Last month, Kambi became the newest entrant to make a major move by partnering with DraftKings to provide legal sports betting.
Paddy Power Betfair already enjoys some name recognition in the US through the horse racing space via TVG. Kambi, though, remains largely unknown in America despite a significant presence in Europe and Australia.
So who is Kambi?
The DraftKings partnership gives Kambi a recognized name in the US legal sports betting market from which to build. The company’s global footprint establishes a good deal of credibility before it makes this splash in America. It already operates partnerships in the US with Rush Street Interactive and 888.
Kambi describes its overall offering as a B2B sports betting provider that helps consumer-facing companies provide sports betting services. The company touts four areas of expertise for its sports betting offering:
- Technical platform
- Odds and trading
- User interface
- Risk management
Kambi positioned for the post-PASPA US market
Sports betting operators and providers around the world welcomed the Supreme Court decision to strike down PASPA in May. Kambi CEO Kristian Nylen issued a statement shortly after the ruling:
“Today’s Supreme Court judgment marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Kambi.
“We have been working towards this day since our inception, putting in place the foundations to ensure the business would be ready for a legal US sports betting market when it arrived.
“Kambi has already proven itself to be the leading end-to-end Sportsbook provider in regulated markets across six continents and I’m therefore confident we’ll have the right product for a US audience.”
Kambi immediately moves into New Jersey sports betting through the DraftKings partnership. DraftKings previously announced a deal to provide sports betting with Resorts Atlantic City.
The nuts and bolts of Kambi
Kambi came into existence in 2014 as a B2B spinoff of powerful Unibet (now Kindred Group.) Kindred Group actually looked into a potential acquisition of DraftKings, but ultimately did not pursue it.
Kambi quickly grew in four years from 80 to 625 employees. It lists its primary headquarters as Malta, a small archipelago off the southern coast of Sicily. Malta is a former British colony that gained full independence in 1974.
In addition to its Malta headquarters, Kambi lists worldwide offices in London, Bucharest, Stockholm, Manila, and Sydney. It reported to shareholders a 2017 operating profit of 7.7 million euro — equal to just less than $9 million in July 2018.