DraftKings Sponsors Gaming Innovation Studio at UNLV
Company inks multi-year deal
DraftKings is now the primary sponsor of the Center for Gaming Innovation within the International Gaming Institute (IGI) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
The American sports betting and DFS operator announced details of the partnership on Twitter:
As part of the multi-year deal communicated on October 28, a new DraftKings Gaming Innovation Studio will open on campus to help the sports betting company get access to local talent and new innovations. DraftKings branding and signage will appear throughout the Fulton Building, the location of the new studio. The Boston-based company will also look to deepen its ties with the local Vegas community.
Center director Daniel Sahl said the new DraftKings studio will “substantially expand the scope and output of UNLV’s gaming innovation program.” He added that it will enable student collaboration in a professional setting that will see them “turning creative ideas into viable casino games.”
According to DraftKings’ co-founder and president of global technology and product Paul Liberman, both parties are “on the leading edge of developing the next wave of technology within the international gaming industry.”
DraftKings’ presence in Nevada
DraftKings opened its 300-person Las Vegas office, the operator’s second-biggest premises in the US, in January. It now hopes the UNLV deal will also provide access to top talent in the gaming industry. The news release announcing the sponsorship of the IGI Center noted that the university has a long track record of success with the commercialization of gaming products.
Despite its presence in Las Vegas, DraftKings has not yet sought a gaming license in Nevada, nor has it indicated any such plans for the region.
Back in 2015, DraftKings was the recipient of a “cease and desist” order from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The order deemed the operator’s daily fantasy sports offering to be sports betting as per state law and concluded that DraftKings could not operate in Nevada without a license.
Market expansion across the US
DraftKings has been rapidly expanding its presence in the US gaming sector through partnerships and product launches. Starting in 2012, the operator initially focused on daily fantasy sports before expanding into sports betting and online casinos in recent years.In April of this year, DraftKings went public after a reverse merger with SBTech and special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation.
Currently, DraftKings operates licensed sportsbooks in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Colorado. It also has daily fantasy sports offerings in many states and online casinos in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey. The company aims to be present “in every regulated state possible”.