DraftKings has reached an agreement with the owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino that will give it access to operate in Connecticut once the state legalizes sports betting.
The partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns the casino, will grant DraftKings the right to take mobile and online sports wagers within Connecticut should the state legislature and local tribes agree to allow it.
In the meantime, DraftKings will also become the casino’s official daily fantasy partner. It’s unclear if the partnership will also include operation of the Foxwoods retail sportsbook.
Connecticut has just two tribal casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The state has longstanding agreements that grant the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes exclusive rights to operate gaming within its borders, in exchange for 25% of their slots revenue. Online sports betting and gaming in Connecticut is projected to generate $175 million in new revenue for the state over its first five years, according to a news release announcing the DraftKings-Foxwoods deal.
“We’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, said in a statement. “Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”
Though Connecticut has just 3.6 million residents, operators in the state could see an added boost should it legalize mobile sports betting before New York does. Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have already benefitted from New York gamblers crossing their borders so they can gamble on their phones.
Headquartered in Boston, DraftKings currently operates mobile or retail sportsbooks in 12 states. It controls 26% of the online U.S. market, second only to FanDuel and triple the third-biggest operator (William Hill), according to research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
The Foxwoods deal may make it harder for DraftKings’ competitors to gain a foothold in Connecticut, depending on how the state’s laws eventually come together. If licenses are only available through the two casinos, which is the case in some other states, that would limit how many operators are able to gain access.