DraftKings to Open Its First Physical Sportsbook in Mississippi

(Bloomberg) -- DraftKings Inc., which has already captured the top position in online sports betting in New Jersey, will open its first physical wagering location in the country in Mississippi on Friday.

The leader in daily-fantasy contests is putting a sportsbook inside the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, located on the Gulf Coast near Biloxi. The venue could be the first of what may be many retail locations nationally where fans can bet on everything from college sports to pro football.

“We’re going to be able to offer a lot of different bets that it would have been very difficult for us to do on own,” said LuAnn Pappas, chief executive officer of the Scarlet Pearl.

Sports betting is spreading rapidly across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that states besides Nevada can offer it. Half a dozen now do so, including Delaware, New Mexico and West Virginia.

Betting must be done through existing gambling license holders, such as casinos and horse tracks, though rules vary by state. In Mississippi, betting is limited to patrons physically in the casinos. In New Jersey and Nevada, bets can also be placed on mobile devices.

Boston-based DraftKings introduced its mobile app in New Jersey in August. The company is hoping to capitalize on the renown it built with daily-fantasy contests, where players assemble theoretical teams of athletes and win money based on their performance. With the sportsbook push, the company is relying on ads featuring basketball great Charles Barkley.

DraftKings earlier signed a deal to offer sports betting in conjunction with the Del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York, though that state has yet to sign off on rules allowing them to do so.

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