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By Brant James | | 2 mins

DraftKings Soft Launch in Pennsylvania Set For Nov. 4

DraftKings Soft Launch in Pennsylvania Set For Nov. 4

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DraftKings has been licensed to launch online in Pennsylvania and will begin a “soft-play” period on Monday. A full state-wide launch would follow within a few days.

For the daily fantasy and sports betting purveyor, Pennsylvania will be the fourth state in an online portfolio whose reach was extended with a 10-year deal with Penn National Gaming.

The company went live in Indiana on Oct. 3.

DraftKings will be The Meadows’ online platform.

“DraftKings is excited to receive our Sports Wagering Operator License, moving us one step closer to bringing our top-rated online and mobile sportsbook app to sports fans in Pennsylvania,” chief compliance officer Tim Dent said in a statement. “Working in partnership with the outstanding team at Penn National Gaming, we expect the mandatory soft-play period to begin on Nov. 4 towards the goal of an official public launch a few days later.”

How DraftKings Can Shape Massive Market

For Pennsylvania, DraftKings becomes the sixth online outlet and brings the top two online providers from neighboring New Jersey west of the Delaware River. FanDuel, the top earner in New Jersey, launched in Pennsylvania in September and has become the market leader there also.

Brand familiarity has long been cited as a boon to the success of both DraftKings and FanDuel, meaning Pennsylvania holds great prospects for the second to arrive, also, as DraftKings is the top DFS provider there since launching in 2018.

The impact on Pennsylvania’s nascent online wagering economy will be telling. Riffing on what he described as a “rolling dumpster fire” of sports betting regulations in Pennsylvania, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at October’s Global Gaming Expo that Pennsylvania residents still cross into New Jersey to place wagers on mobile devices. The claim was confirmed by David Briggs, the CEO of GeoComply, which tracks and enforces jurisdictional boundaries for mobile betting.

One of the possible reasons for the continued migration could be brand loyalty, as there are 17 vendors in New Jersey. DraftKings’ arrival in Pennsylvania could therefore mitigate the trend, keeping tax revenue in-state and perhaps somewhat quashing Christie’s perceived fire.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, believes Pennsylvania could eventually become the top sports betting market by handle because of its population.

About the Author

Brant James for
Brant James

Brant James has covered racing – cars and horses - the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and made numerous detours into not only clubhouses and locker rooms, but from whatever direction an interesting story beckoned. Carl Crawford once shot champagne into his eyes from such close range that he barely made deadline squinting with the left one. In a career with,, USA TODAY and the Tampa Bay Times, he’s ridden up Mt. Washington in a rally car with Travis Pastrana, walked – carefully, in dress shoes - from the barns to the paddock with Kentucky Derby horses at Churchill Downs and landed on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. He was there when Cal Ripken Jr., tied, broke and ended The Streak. Somebody had to do it. Brant James now writes for and co-hosts the {{anchor(" Badder Beats", "BDC - EN - Articles Page", 367 , "")|raw}} podcast.

Now he's on to the legal sports betting industry in the United States, which he covers as a features and enterprise reporter. This will not be dull.