54°F
weather icon Possible Drizzle

Daily fantasy sports provider DraftKings opens Las Vegas office

Boston-based daily fantasy sports contest provider DraftKings has opened an office in Las Vegas.

But don’t expect to place a bet or play fantasy sports in Nevada through the company anytime soon.

President and co-founder Matt Kalish and DraftKings race and sports director Johnny Avello welcomed guests to the office at Town Square Wednesday where 70 employees work and more than 300 will be in place in the months ahead.

The company moved in Monday, establishing a back-of-the-house call center dedicated to customer experience, fraud, casino, sportsbook traders, human resources and information technology. When fully operational, the DraftKings’ Las Vegas office will be the second largest in the country behind the Boston operation.

Local employees will handle customer inquiries around the clock. The company currently offers its sports-betting app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire and West Virginia with physical retail sportsbooks in New Jersey, New York, Iowa and Mississippi.

Kalish indicated the company hasn’t determined how it intends to pursue a retail outlet or become licensed to operate in Nevada, instead focusing on growing the company’s presence.

Unlike other states, Nevada requires an individual to appear in person to sign up to establish a mobile gaming account and DraftKings’ hasn’t done that, but has options with agreements in other states with Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Penn National Gaming Inc.

Avello, a longtime sportsbook director at Wynn Las Vegas, joined DraftKings in October 2018. Avello’s Las Vegas team includes sportsbook personnel that formerly worked at other Las Vegas resorts.

Known for his entertaining odds on the Academy Awards, Avello indicated New Jersey plans to post odds on the Hollywood awards show in the next few days.

DraftKings leases flexible workspace from WeWork at Town Square and Kalish and Avello showed off the multiple work areas new employees can move into as the company expands.

DraftKings has been interested in operating in Nevada for nearly five years.

The state Gaming Control Board, acting on an opinion issued by former Attorney General Adam Laxalt in 2015, determined that daily fantasy sports contests are a form of gambling and regulators said that required DraftKings and its smaller rival, FanDuel, to be licensed to operate sports pools in the state. Representatives of both companies unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee to recommend establishing a special fantasy sports license to the Nevada Legislature.

Since then, DraftKings announced a multi-state partnership with Caesars last February. Under terms of that agreement, Caesars is offering DraftKings market access for its online gaming products, subject to passage of applicable laws and the parties securing applicable gaming licenses.

Caesars has an exclusive marketing agreement with the National Football League, which has endorsed fantasy sports as a skill game and not gambling.

When New Jersey adopted sports wagering in 2018, DraftKings introduced the mobile DraftKings Sportsbook and became the market leader in its first months of operation as the state’s first mobile provider. By December 2019, FanDuel had surpassed DraftKings by gross gaming revenue.

DraftKings’ partnership with Caesars could result in new growth in the months ahead with Caesars on the verge of merging with Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Inc. Once the companies combine in a proposed $17.3 billion deal that already has been approved by shareholders of both companies, the new Caesars would operate nearly 60 properties in 18 states, many of them that allow sports wagering. Regulatory approval is still required from the Federal Trade Commission and several state gaming regulators.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Business Videos
Plans for luxury hotel on south Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall speaks with Renee Summerour about a California developer's plan to help revamp the south Las Vegas Strip. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two years until “I Do” - VIDEOY
Las Vegas locals Sam Cruz and Jeff Gaglione discuss their engagement, in their future wedding venue at Emerald at Queensridge in Las Vegas, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
Chairman, CEO of MGM Resorts Jim Murren stepping down - VIDEO
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren will be stepping down as chairman and CEO. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wynn Las Vegas opens new convention center space - VIDEO
On Feb. 10, 2020, Wynn Las Vegas opened its new convention center expansion that more than doubled its sellable space. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local tattoo shop tattoos MAGIC attendees - VIDEO
Club Tattoo is giving away tattoos to the people who attend the biannual fashion convention throughout its three days at Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New report shows January home sales jump - VIDEO
Las Vegas’ housing market had another big jump in sales from year-ago levels as prices stayed relatively flat, a new report shows. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Creed perfume store part of growing Las Vegas Strip luxury retail - VIDEO
Andrea DeCarlo, general manager at Creed at the Forum Shops at Caesars on the Las Vegas Strip, talks about her luxury perfume store Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Newest tech gadgets at store in Forum Shops at Caesars - VIDEO
A new store at Forum Shops at Caesars, b8ta, encourages shoppers to play with the hottest tech gadgets. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Preview Las Vegas 2020 - VIDEO
Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, hints at new branding slogan for Las Vegas, which will no longer be “What happens here, stays here.” The new slogan will be unveiled Jan. 26 during the Grammy Awards. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boring Company could provide a solution to parking problems - VIDEO
LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill believes a potential solution for parking problems is the Boring Company’s $52.5 million people-mover -- a system that could eventually be expanded citywide connecting resorts and even McCarran International Airport to the Convention Center.
The Blackstone Group has partnered with MGM Resorts to acquire more properties - VIDEO
A few months after the Blackstone Group bought the Bellagio for more than $4 billion, it has partnered with MGM Resorts on a deal to acquire two other Las Vegas Strip properties. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Young Innovator Award winner explains ReDawn - VIDEO
Sofia Ongele explains ReDawn, which uses a Chatbot named Dawn to help users find resources after a sexual assault. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: MedWand ties for title of Last Gadget Standing - VIDEO
Dr. Samir Qamar of Las Vegas presents MedWand, a medical device that allows physicians to examine patients remotely anywhere in the world, at CES 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley /Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
CES Flying Taxis
Bell Nexus EX4 and Hyundai SA-1 flying taxi prototypes from CES 2020. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020 attendees rides in autonomous BMWs - VIDEO
BMW is pitching its reconfigured i3 Urban Suite, which holds a single passenger on a lounge-style seat, as the possible future of chauffeured rides at CES 2020. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Small appliances unveiled in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The small appliances on show at Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas include a Keurig cocktail maker, autonomous cooking system, nitrogen coffee ampules and more. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: The scooter that will remind you of Wall-E - VIDEO
Segway unveiled the egg-shaped S-Pod Scooter at CES 2020 that’s a seated version of their original scooter that can reach 24mph. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Before the floor opens at Sands Expo on Day One - VIDEO
CES 2020 opened its doors at 10 a.m. Tuesday, welcoming more than 170,000 attendees to the annual electronics show. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: A suitcase that follows you, video games to heal you at Pepcom's Digital Experience - VIDEO
Get a glance at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! a showcase of products that will be at this week’s CES convention. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Impossible Foods Inc. Debuts Impossible Pork - VIDEO
At a pre-CES news conference at Mandalay Bay’s Kumi restaurant Monday night, a company representative announced that the participants were the “first people in the world” to try the new plant-based product, which it provided as samples in the form of Impossible Pork banh mi, char siu buns, dan dan noodles, pork katsu, pork shumai and sweet-sour-and-numbing meatballs.
CES 2020: Impossible Foods debuts Impossible Pork in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Before a packed press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods executives introduced Impossible Pork, its newest product. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: The Future of Transportation - VIDEO
Many automotive companies at CES unveil their plans for the future of transportation including safer driverless cars, safety features and a partnership between Uber and Hyundai. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: What you've missed so far - VIDEO
Catch up on the tech and events presented at CES 2020. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Samsung debuts 8k TV, MicroLED TV - VIDEO
2020 is set to be a major year for 8k screens, according to Samsung executives. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas resorts welcome dogs to stay
Las Vegas properties are welcoming dogs more than ever. MGM Resorts International announced a new dog-friendly program across all of its Las Vegas properties in December. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Musk 'hopeful' for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project - VIDEO
Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that The Boring Company’s underground tunnel project in Las Vegas will be “hopefully fully operational” within the next year. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World Market Center celebrates topping-off ceremony - VIDEO
Las Vegas elected officials including Councilman Cedric Crear attend topping-off ceremony for the Expo at World Market Center in Las Vegas.
MSG Sphere in Las Vegas will be the largest spherical building in the world - VIDEO
The Madison Square Garden Sphere at The Venetian has now been under construction for about one year and is expected to be completed in 2021. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aria still thriving after 10 years - VIDEO
The Aria opened on the heels of the Great Recession and managed to survive. It is now known for its art, environmental sustainability and poker. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opening ceremony of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside a casino
Opening ceremony of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside a casino at the Golden Nugget on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
THE LATEST
VICI Properties looking to expand in 2020

Executives said they’re interested in working with operators that have high customer loyalty, low cyclical risks and the ability to provide services that aren’t threatened by online companies like Amazon.