Home > Sports betting > Kambi’s PASPA ‘gamble’ key to NJ success

Kambi’s PASPA ‘gamble’ key to NJ success

| By iGB Editorial Team
CEO Kristian Nylen gives the inside story on Kambi’s ‘historic’ launch with DraftKings

Kambi chief executive Kristian Nylen has said the company's decision to “take a gamble” on the repeal of the US sports betting ban was the key to its historic mobile launch with DraftKings.

Nylen spoke to iGamingBusiness.com after his company’s platform went live in New Jersey on a trial basis on Wednesday evening. Shortly afterwards the first-ever legal digital sports bets in the US outside Nevada were taken. 

Kambi’s sportsbook partnership with DraftKings was only announced in late June, a month after the repeal of PASPA and the signing of Kambi’s inaugural US deal with Rush Street Interactive, and days after over-the-counter betting began in New Jersey. However, Nylen suggested Kambi and DraftKings have been working for some time on their digital sportsbook plans. 

“Both Kambi and DraftKings took a gamble relatively early that PASPA would be repealed and set about working on the product in earnest,” Nylen told iGamingBusiness.com.

“Wednesday, August 1 will be remembered as an historic day, not just for Kambi but the US sports wagering industry as a whole, with us accepting the first online wager post-PASPA.

“With DraftKings now up and running, we look forward to launching more of our customers into New Jersey shortly, before taking our sportsbook into additional states as they open up.”

The DraftKings Sportsbook app is for now just available in New Jersey on an invite-only basis and at prescribed times through a transactional waiver from the state regulator. There are reports that 50,000 players are currently allowed.

Kambi said it has modified its platform for the US market with US-specific odds presentation, American terminology, the choice of how to present home and away teams and additional handicap lines.

Nylen added: “The DraftKings frontend looks noticeably different from most of our other operators’ as they have built a large part of their frontend experience on top our APIs.

“We give all our customers the freedom to take control of large parts of the client and, if they wish, take full control over the frontend. So, in general, the platform is providing operators with the flexibility to create unique betting experiences and offer a product which not only suits the players of today, but has the ability to adapt as the market evolves.”

DraftKings’ launch, in association with its brick-and-mortar partner Resorts Casino Hotel, led to another flurry of announcements in the following 24 hours.

The Stars Group said its BetStars sportsbook will be operating from Resorts Casino after their online poker and casino partnership was expanded to include betting.

“We believe The Stars Group is uniquely qualified with the experience and insight needed to make sports betting a success in New Jersey,” said Matt Primeaux, the Stars Group’s US lead.

Paddy Power Betfair and its FanDuel brand have forged an agreement with casino company Boyd Gaming, potentially giving it access to 15 states. The pact will cover all states where Boyd Gaming currently holds gaming licences, excluding Nevada.

Earlier this week Boyd struck a partnership with MGM Resorts which will see the two share market access in the states in which they have casino properties. 

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter