DraftKings Closes The Gap With Unpopular Sports And Free Pools

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DraftKings reports an unusual amount of interest for their other betting products, such as table tennis and free-to-enter pools around other types of entertainment, with nearly 60% of all wagers over the past week coming from bets on ping-pong games from Russia and Ukraine.

“Ping-Pong is fun to watch. A silver lining here is that people are getting a chance to try new things that maybe they hadn’t before, and that some of them will like them and continue to play those games once other sports come back.”

Jason Robins, CEO, DraftKings

During these unprecedented times when all major sporting events across the world have been suspended or postponed, to help contain the outbreak of coronavirus /Covid-19/, and people are staying at home to self-isolate, sports betting operators are forced to become creative and invent other ways to keep clients engaged.

Table Tennis Matches Wagering

One of the few surviving sports events worldwide are the table tennis matches from Russia and Ukraine, countries where the registered cases for the disease caused by the virus are still relatively low and indoors sports continues.

Usually, ping-pong games are not an ideal option for a sports betting operator, as they do not attract much interest betting-wise, and especially during times of the year when the majority of the bets are placed on action from the major sports leagues in the US, the NCAA March Madness, the biggest sports betting event in the US of the year, and top European football. However, DraftKings is more than happy to exploit any opportunity that comes along their way that would help bridge the gap until major sports events resume.

The sports betting operator points out 76% of all wagering activity on ping-pong games last week were live bets, placed on occurrences during each match, as their customers were looking for extra adrenaline while streaming the action through the DraftKings mobile app.

Prize Pools Spark The Interest

Another opportunity that is fully utilized by DraftKings is the creation of free-to-enter pools around other types of entertainment, shows such as the “Survivor” on CBS, “Chopped” on the Food Network and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO, all of which have small prize pools. The betting operator even built a tournament around recent political debates.

“For us, the focus is on ensuring that we’re engaging our customers. I think people appreciate that we’re coming up with cool new ideas for pools and games, and it’s keeping them occupied during a time when a lot of people are home and restless.”

Jason Robins, CEO, DraftKings

Indeed, this weekend’s DraftKings offers included free pools on the new season of “Westworld” and one on a Nascar’s esports race, presenting a video game race among real drivers from the series. All 22 posted pools have so far spurred enormous interest with several hundreds of thousands the number of entries.

Meanwhile, the ongoing three-way merger between DraftKings and SBTech, through the Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., the SPAC vehicle created for the deal, is continuing as planned, with the shareholders of Diamond Eagle scheduled to vote on the deal April 9.

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