Ohio: DraftKings to offer $200 in free bets as pre-launch sign-up bonus

DraftKings will offer $200 in free bets to Ohio-based customers who sign up before sports betting goes live in the state on 1 January 2023. 

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The promotion does not even require a player to make an initial deposit, and five early sign-up customers will be selected at random to receive a $100,000 free bet on launch day.  

The move would follow DraftKings’ trend of spending large amounts on customer acquisition, a policy that has had a detrimental effect on the operator’s ability to turn a profit.  

DraftKings reported a net loss of $217.1m for Q2 2022 and $305.5m for Q1 2022 – a combined H1 2022 loss of $684.8m, greater than the $651.9m loss in H1 2021.

Losses have continued to spiral as new markets go live in the US, states where DraftKings enters with a high-risk acquisition model.  

Compared to its competitors, DraftKings’ net loss is staggering. Over the same period (H2 2022), Flutter Entertainment, the parent company of DraftKings' main rival FanDuel, recorded a net loss of £113m ($128.8m).

And compared to respectively smaller operators, which typically keep losses below the $100m mark, DraftKings’ expenditure looks even more excessive. Rush Street Interactive reported a loss of $80.6m in H1 2022.  

It has long been touted that a time must come when DraftKings investors stop investing heavily if they are to see any long-term gain, let alone gain in the mid-term.  

Recently, it was reported that DraftKings is close to agreeing to a new partnership with ESPN. Although unconfirmed by DraftKings and ESPN, the news saw shares in DraftKings jump as high as 9% in premarket trading. 

ESPN, which is owned by Walt Disney Co, also has stakes in DraftKings having acquired them upon the acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox’s entertainment assets in March 2019.

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