DraftKings CEO Jason Robins has announced that its new progressive parlay product will be ready to launch in the coming weeks as the operator sees innovation as the best way to fight in a competitive environment.
One of the most exciting announcements from DraftKings’ recent investors day was the unveiling of a new product called progressive parlays, allowing players to hedge their bets if their parlay bet is missing legs.
But there was little indication of when players would be able to leverage the new feature, which is currently in the beta phase. Yet Robins, speaking at the Annual Craig Hallum Online Gaming Conference 2023, stated that the full launch was just “weeks away”.
He continued: “I’m excited about it, because it’s differentiated and it’s also something in that category of really strong value proposition for the customer. The opportunity to, even if you don’t hit every leg of your parlay, be able to win something. It gives you that sort of still thrill of chasing the big payout, but there’s some consolation prizes in there.
“It’s an example of us not just trying to reinvent the wheel, but looking around the world. This is not a new product. There are other progressive parlays. There’s nobody really in our competition set in the major online US players that are doing it.”
Robins also explained that DraftKings was “looking at” the new Genius Sports BetVision product, but that there are so many product improvements that it is working to implement, it has simply not been acted upon yet. Launched for the current NFL season, BetVision allows players to stream games, consume the data and pick their bets all in one place and is rolled out with FanDuel.
But while Robins was insistent that product improvements are on the way, he was asked whether there is more room for product innovation. With parlay product innovation being a key focus for operators in the last two years, Robins was asked whether parlays had reached the end of the innovation road.
He responded: “I mean, we are just starting to sort of focus more on live betting and game betting as an example. So yes, there’s been a lot of early focus on parlay. Do I think that there’s nothing left? No, I mean, we just are launching progressive parlay as you noted now, so it’s definitely more innovation there.
“But there are other parts of the business like cash-out that could be way improved. I think that, as noted live betting and in-game betting, there’s so much room there.”
Focusing on product development, Robins asserted, is the best way of standing out from the increasingly saturated crowd in 2023.
Like almost every chat with an online gaming executive in H2 ’23, Robins was asked for his thoughts on the roll out of ESPN BET and how it would affect his own business. While applauding PENN Entertainment for a “pretty rational launch”, Robins insisted that DraftKings remains a strong player.
“I think they’re playing for the long term, not to, kind of come in and make a splash and disappear. And it’s our job to continue to impact our business.
“For us, handle has been strong, actives have been strong. We look at this stuff every day. And like I said, we’re prepared either way. We’ve seen lots of waves of competition and I think our expectation is that this is a competitive market and we’re going to continue to have to fight for the customer and build great product.
“That’s what we’ve been doing and that’s why even despite the competitive environment, we’ve continued to be able to take share and be successful.”