You can now add “sports bar operator” to the portfolio, as the company announced Thursday it was teaming up with Sports & Social, a part of The Cordish Companies, to open “upscale” sports bars across America, with Detroit being one of the two cities the company will launch in. (Nashville will be the second city.)
“Today, so much of sports betting is focused on the mobile-technology aspect, however the in-person experience is an integral layer that we look forward to advancing alongside Sports & Social’s premier dining and entertainment offerings,” Ezra Kucharz, chief business officer at DraftKings, said in a press release. “By aligning with one of the fastest-growing entertainment concepts in the country, we now have the opportunity to bring our world-class products to life by offering engaging, interactive, and fan-first destinations to skin-in-the-game customers.”
The Sports & Social concept, created by Live! Dining and Entertainment, which itself is a division of the The Cordish Companies, bills itself as an “upscale gaming parlor and social lounge.” The sports bars are located around numerous sports stadiums and in casinos, including The Battery next to Truist Park in Atlanta; Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium in St. Louis; Live! Pittsburgh Casino; Live! Philadelphia Casino & Hotel; and Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in the Baltimore/Washington corridor.
“DraftKings is an industry leader in sports betting and entertainment, and we are incredibly excited to work with them to bring this new experience to life,” Reed Cordish, principal of The Cordish Companies, said in the release. “We are always looking to create new and innovative experiences for our guests and this collaboration will allow us an exciting opportunity to do so, bringing an incredible premier sports-watching experience with sports betting all under one roof.”
No approvals needed, but …
If the bar is simply a bar, DraftKings would need no regulatory approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, according to Mary Kay Bean, the spokesperson for the MGCB.
“DraftKings would need to seek MGCB approval if the bar has a cashiering location for online wagering,” Bean said. “Additionally, any wagering promotions offered in connection with the bar must meet applicable requirements in the state’s online sports betting rules and receive approval.”
As for betting kiosks in the bar? Not happening.
“Michigan law would not allow betting kiosks or terminals in a bar,” Bean said.
DraftKings’ (DKNG) stock price was up a little under 1% on the news.