DraftKings is a platform that provides various online gambling products such as daily and weekly fantasy sports contests or sports betting.
The company, which is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman.
DraftKings is primarily known for hosting daily and weekly fantasy sports competitions. Participants pick a team of players who then accumulate points based on their performance. The team with the greatest amount of points wins, giving users access to cash prices worth tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In fact, DraftKings is considered to be one of the industry’s pioneers, being among the first to introduce daily fantasy sports to the masses.
Apart from daily fantasy sports, DraftKings users in selected states (such as New York or Virginia) can bet on the outcome of sports games via DraftKings Sportsbook.
DraftKings has leveraged its popularity as one of the country’s leading fantasy sports providers to expand into other verticals as well. In August 2018, for instance, it launched its iGaming division, which allows users to play online casino games. DraftKings also makes money from software and NFT sales, among others.
That same year, sports betting was legalized in the United States at the federal level, thereby handing control to each individual state. Over a dozen states have now legalized sports betting – and simultaneously given rise to companies that are now worth billions.
DraftKings’ continuous expansion has enabled it to grow at a rapid pace. In 2021, DraftKings generated revenues of $1.3 billion (equal to about 24 percent in market share), which represents an increase of more than 110 percent from the year prior. However, the company also lost $1.52 billion.
DraftKings, furthermore, averaged two million monthly unique paying customers over the same time span. It consequently made $77 per paying customer. More than 3,500 people are employed by DraftKings on a full-time basis.
A year prior, in April 2020, DraftKings had gone public. At the time, the company was valued at $6.5 billion. During its life as a private company, DraftKings had raised an eye-popping $720 million in venture funding.
The methodology with which competitors of DraftKings are ranked is based on publicly available information. Data points such as the revenue generated, monthly user traffic, number of employees, and anything else in between will be considered.
This analysis, in order to ensure comparability, looks at competitors within the daily fantasy as well as sports betting industry. Consequently, competitors within DraftKing’s other business lines, such as software, NFTs, or iGaming, are excluded.
Additionally, most of DraftKings’ competitors on this list are based in the United States where the company derives most of its revenue. Nevertheless, we will also include competitors from its other markets such as Canada, the U.K., Germany, and Ireland.
Lastly, this analysis should not be seen as an endorsement of any company or service. It merely acts as a summary of all the competition that DraftKings faces as of today.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top 10 competitors of DraftKings.
Headquarters: New York City, United States Founder(s): Nigel Eccles, Lesley Eccles, Rob Jones, Tom Griffiths Year Founded: 2007
FanDuel is the biggest competitor to DraftKings. The two companies account for over 90 percent of the daily fantasy sports market in the United States. FanDuel has, furthermore, become one of the biggest sportsbook operators in the country as well.
The founders initially launched the site as HubDub, a platform on which users could bet on almost any outcome such as presidential elections or sporting events. They rebranded the company into FanDuel in July 2009. By 2011, the firm had expanded into the United States and even moved its headquarters from Edinburgh, Scotland to New York City.
FanDuel and DraftKings are also connected through scandals and other headlines. In 2015, DraftKings employees were caught using the platform’s aggregated data to bet on daily fantasy competitions on FanDuel.
A year later, the two companies even tried to merge. However, the move was ultimately blocked by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). After years of independence, FanDuel was ultimately sold to Flutter Entertainment (which owns other betting providers such as Betfair, Paddy Power, or Poker Stars) for $4.2 billion in December 2020.
FanDuel had previously raised $416 million in venture funding. For the fiscal year 2021, FanDuel posted annual revenues of $1.9 billion, making it North America’s leading online gambling platform with a market share of around 36 percent.
Additionally, FanDuel boasts more than 12 million registered users while employing over 2,000 people.
2. Caesars Sportsbook
Headquarters: Reno, Nevada, United States Founder(s): Caesars Entertainment Year Founded: 2021
Caesars Entertainment is one, if not the largest hotel and casino entertainment company in North America. It leveraged that popularity to launch its own sportsbook app back in August 2021.
The launch was made possible due to its acquisition of betting provider William Hill back in April for which it paid $4 billion. A month after the sportsbook launch, it sold William Hill’s European business to 888 Holdings for $3 billion.
As far as the United States is concerned, Caesar Sportsbook is available in every state that has legalized sports gambling thus far. It has since invested tens of millions into promoting the service, for example with TV ads like this one (it aims to eventually spend over $1 billion in total).
Its sportsbook division, dubbed Caesars Interactive, is now a leading gambling provider in a variety of states such as New York (its overall market share is equal to 21 percent). In 2021, it generated $337 million in revenue.
Headquarters: Paradise, Nevada, United States Founder(s): MGM Resorts International, Entain Year Founded: 2018
BetMGM, incorporated as Roar Digital, is a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain, a leading British gambling provider. DraftKings, in fact, tried to purchase Entain for $22 billion back in late 2021 but talks ultimately fell through.
While the joint venture was off to a slow start, it is now considered one of the leading sportsbook providers in the United States. BetMGM currently accounts for around 15 percent of the online gambling market.
The service has since closed exclusive partnerships with a variety of sports teams such as the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Nationals, and many more. Apart from sports betting, it also has launched an iGaming product.
In 2021, BetMGM generated $850 million in revenue (unfortunately, detailed breakdowns about its sports gambling and online casino products are not provided). The product is available in over 20 markets across the United States.
Sources: MGM Resorts
Headquarters: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England Founder(s): Denise Coates, John Coates, Peter Coates Year Founded: 2000
Bet365 is Europe’s leading online gambling provider. It consequently competes with DraftKings in markets such as Austria, Germany, the U.K., and Ireland.
What’s particularly remarkable about that feat is the fact the business is still founder-led and family-owned. Their father, Peter Coates, had founded a catering business whose proceeds were used to launch a radio station, acquire multiple local betting shops, and even purchase the football club Stoke City FC.
His daughter Denise would end up working in one of those betting outlets. In January 2000, after receiving a loan from her father, she launched the gambling site whose domain she purchased from eBay for £10,000.
Together, they grew the business, which entails sports betting, online casinos, poker, and more, to $3.7 billion in annual revenues (2021). Denise Coates, the firm’s highest-paid director, was awarded £250 million during that same timeframe.
Bet365 is also one of the only profitable companies on this list. In 2021, its profits were equal to £469.2 million. The firm currently employs over 4,000 people.
Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia Founder(s): Andrew Fahey Year Founded: 2015
PointsBet is an Australian gambling provider that offers traditional wagering choices alongside more exotic bets. For example, it has developed an option dubbed Pointsbetting, which enables bettors to multiply their pay-outs and rewards them based on the margin of winning.
The firm went public on the Australian Stock Exchange in June 2019 after expanding into the U.S. (New Jersey) just six months prior. A little over a year later, in August, the company signed a $500 million deal with broadcasting network NBC to become its exclusive sports betting provider. NBC Sports’ portfolio of events includes the NFL, NHL, Premier League, golf majors, and many more.
As part of the deal, NBC received a 4.9 percent stake in PointsBet, which it can increase to up to 25 percent by the time the agreement ends (2025). PointsBet, in order to take advantage of this unique opportunity, raised another $294 million in funding in July 2021.
The bet has paid off thus far. Its market share across the ~ 10 states it operates in is equal to about five percent. For the fiscal year 2021, PointsBet, which employs over 600 people, generated AUD$210.1 million in revenue. The overwhelming majority of that income comes from sports gambling while less than one percent can be attributed to its iGaming products.
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria Founder(s): Manfred Bodner, Norbert Teufelberger Year Founded: 1997
bwin, which was known as betandwin until 2006, is one of the pioneers of online sports betting. The firm went public on the Austrian Stock Exchange back in March 2000.
More than 11 years later, in April 2011, it merged with PartyGaming to form what was then the world’s largest online betting company. During that time, they sponsored world-leading football clubs such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
In 2016, bwin was ultimately sold to Entain, which owns the brand to this date. The brand operates in over 50 countries across the globe and competes with DraftKings in markets such as the U.K., Ireland, Austria, and Germany.
Entain does currently not disclose how much revenue bwin generates. However, experts in the industry believe that the service nets well over $500 million per year. Close to 1,000 people are, furthermore, employed by bwin.
7. FOX Bet
Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Founder(s): The Stars Group Year Founded: 2019
FOX Bet was launched in September 2019, becoming the first media organization in the United States to launch a gambling platform. The offering itself was launched in partnership with The Stars Group (TSG), a gambling provider operating sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
The two companies would be able to leverage the reach of FOX Sports, which owns rights to some of the world’s biggest sports leagues such as the NFL. Fox had previously invested $236 million into TSG in exchange for a 4.99 percent stake.
FOX Bet is currently available in a handful of states across the nation. TSG and Flutter Entertainment, the owner of FanDuel, merged in May 2020 in a deal worth $6 billion. Fox Bets currently accounts for less than one percent of the U.S. online betting market outside of Nevada. Nevertheless, given the reach of the underlying media business, they certainly shouldn’t be counted out.
8. William Hill
Headquarters: London, England Founder(s): William Hill Year Founded: 1934
William Hill began as a telephone and postal betting service. The firm expanded into physical shops in 1966 after they were made legal just five years prior. Unfortunately, its namesake founder retired from the business in 1970 (he died three years later).
A year after, William Hill was sold to the Sears Holding Group. The firm, over the coming decades, went through various ownership changes. As previously stated, it sold its U.S. business to Caesars whereas its European division was sold to 888 Holdings for $3 billion (September 2021).
Due to the firm’s illustrious history, it continues to operate over 1,400 physical betting stores across the United Kingdom. Those stores as well as its online operations, which entail sports betting, online casino games, skill games, and more, are managed by the 12,000+ people that are employed by William Hill.
William Hill currently boasts two million active customers in the United Kingdom, making it the country’s largest betting operator. In 2020, William Hill generated $1.81 billion in revenue. The firm was delisted from the London Stock Exchange after it was acquired by Caesars, so more up-to-date revenue numbers have not been published yet.
However, its U.S. operations are nothing to scoff at, either. The betting provider is, for example, one of the only two services allowed to operate in the Washington D.C. state.
9. Barstool Sports
Headquarters: New York City, United States Founder(s): David Portnoy Year Founded: 2003
Barstool Sports began life as a news publication centered around various American sports and, well, naked women. Dave Portnoy, its founder, has grown the brand by stirring up dozens of controversies and eating pizza every day.
Today, Barstool not only has a website that garners millions of views every day (predominantly by male visitors) but owns various other media brands such as the podcast Pardon My Take.
Much like FOX Bet, Barstool has leveraged its follower base to launch its own sportsbook app back in September 2020. The launch was made possible vis-a-vis its partnership with Penn National Gaming, which eventually plans to completely acquire Barstool Sports (it currently owns 36 percent of the company).
Barstool’s sports gambling app handled $775 million in 2021 (not revenue, though). Its market share, excluding Nevada, is currently equal to about 12 percent.
Sources: Penn National Gaming
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia, United States Founder(s): Adam Wexler, Jay Deuskar Year Founded: 2015
PrizePicks claims to be the largest independently owned daily fantasy sports platform in North America. The company has managed to secure partnerships with the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins, among others.
The firm currently covers over 60 percent of the U.S. population while having raised close to $1 million in funding. Over 100 people are employed by PrizePicks.
The online gambling market in the United States alone is worth over $2 billion and is projected to grow at close to 20 percent over the next five years. Naturally, there are plenty of companies competing against DraftKings that didn’t make the cut.
As previously stated, DraftKings and FanDuel control over 90 percent of the daily fantasy sports market in the United States. Nevertheless, other providers such as OwnersBox or Outlast are also investing millions into marketing their respective businesses.
There’s also no shortage of new sportsbook entrants given that more and more states are beginning to legalize online gambling. Other examples include Fubo, Borgota, WynnBet, Unibet, and plenty others.
Lastly, DraftKings competes against physical casinos (mostly in Nevada and New Jersey) as well. The big providers, such as the previously listed MGM and Caesars, are particularly equipped to accommodate those customers.
In summary, FanDuel remains the largest competitor to DraftKings, which, by all accounts, is one of the three leading online gambling providers in the United States.