US sports betting operator DraftKings last week soft-launched an online sportsbook in the Republic of Ireland to put to the test its newly acquired in-house sports betting platform provider SBTech in an international environment.
The sportsbook.draftkings.ie website is operated by Crown Gaming Malta Ltd. under a license issued by the Irish Office of Revenue Commissioners.
The recent debut of DraftKings’ Irish sportsbook marks the operator’s first sports betting launch outside the US where it operates in multiple states. It should be noted that this is not the first time the company is launching a product in Ireland. In 2017, it chose the country to debut its first daily fantasy sports site outside its homeland.
At present, DraftKings’ new Ireland-facing website is a pure sportsbook and takes bets on several sports, including several locally popular options such as Gaelic football and hurling, among others.
Media sources say that DraftKings plans to eventually add online casino offering to the mix. While Ireland’s obsolete gambling laws that lawmakers have been failing to update over the past decade practically prohibit online casinos, many international operators have been targeting Irish players, so the current legal situation is not likely to deter the US company, as well.
Putting SBTech to the Test
DraftKings has also opened its first international office in Dublin and has tapped local tech talent to handle the technology behind its sports betting operations. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Travis Dunn, said last year that the Irish capital is “one of Europe’s top tech hubs and has deep roots in sports betting and gaming.”
He further noted that establishing an office in Dublin would enable DraftKings to “provide more comprehensive coverage, respond quicker to issues and work in closer coordination with our international vendors.”
As mentioned above, the launch of its Irish sportsbook will allow DraftKings to test the capabilities of the SBTech sports betting platform in an international environment.
The sports betting operator acquired SBTech this past spring as part of a larger deal that saw DraftKings go public on NASDAQ through blank-check company Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. (DEAC).
DraftKings’ combination with SBTech, a major European sports betting technology provider, formed the “only vertically integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States.”
Now owning an in-house sports betting platform provider, DraftKings is set to gradually migrate away from its former technology partner Kambi to shift its operations to SBTech over the next year or so.
In the US, DraftKings recently launched a retail sportsbook and a betting app in Illinois and an online casino in West Virginia as part of its ongoing expansion across states where sports betting and online gambling are legal.
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