PlayUSA Rewind: DraftKings Launches Stand-Alone Online Casinos In Two States

Written By Grant Lucas on July 21, 2020 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022
DraftKings Launches Standalone Online Casinos In Two States

Welcome back to another week chock-full of newsworthy headlines.

Even amid reclosures and reopenings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we never seem to be light on gaming-related news.

With another week gone, we move another few days closer to major sports returning. Within the week, MLB will get underway. The NHL and NBA will follow. After that, of course, comes football.

Ideally, and if all goes as planned, it will set up the biggest couple of months in American legal sports betting history.

But for now, we look back. On to the Rewind:

DraftKings Casino goes live … twice

Few gaming operators appeared as active as DraftKings last week.

The daily fantasy sports giant and rising sports betting power expanded even more as DraftKings Casino stand-alone apps went live in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Mere days separated the two rollouts, beginning with the much-anticipated entry into Pennsylvania. The online casino app was expected, as DraftKings integrated the feature with its mobile sportsbook in May.

The timing came as no surprise, especially considering the meteoric rise of iGaming in the Keystone State amid the pandemic. From several variations of blackjack (including sports themed; it is DraftKings, after all) to several roulette themes, the online casino boasts 16 table games and 29 slots. Additionally, the operator teased that the DraftKings Live Dealer Studio will launch in the near future.

Just a few days later, DraftKings made a somewhat surprising introduction of its stand-alone online casino app in West Virginia, which became the fourth state with operational and legal online casinos.

Here, though, DraftKings does not offer slot titles yet.

New Jersey regulators sign off on Eldorado-Caesars deal

Eldorado closed its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment after regulators in New Jersey approved of the deal.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement’s Casino Control Commission unanimously signed off on the acquisition after hearing testimony spanning three days from a host of stakeholders.

Among the top concerns: Caesars, which has not invested in its Atlantic City properties in some time. However, Thomas Reeg, CEO of Eldorado, emphasized the company’s belief in the area and accepted the committee’s conditions.

Those include selling Bally’s Atlantic City within three years, funneling $400 million toward Caesars’ AC properties over the next three years and an assurance that the company will not close any of its New Jersey properties, among other conditions.

If testimony from Eldorado is any indication, those existing casinos in Atlantic City under the new Caesars brand should receive ample attention for improvement.

Daily fantasy sports on its way to Louisiana?

After two years, it seems the daily fantasy sports industry is finally set to be legalized in Louisiana.

Oddly enough, the catalyst behind the move is the pandemic.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill to establish the tax rate for DFS, a move that came after voters called for the industry’s legalization in 2018.

The state legislature can only approach tax bills in odd years unless an extraordinary session is necessary, but one was called to address coronavirus-related issues.

Now, it appears as if Louisiana natives could take part in legalized DFS by the NFL season.

This move might signal the fate of regulated sports betting in the Pelican State. Voters will address the industry’s legalization on the November ballot. As it appears that the public will approve of regulated wagering, lawmakers could address taxes and a regulatory framework next year.

In fact, some legislators seem more optimistic about the pace to launch sports betting following the sudden urgency behind daily fantasy sports.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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