DraftKings CEO Robins Wants Company to Accept Crypto, But States Balk at Idea


DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) CEO Jason Robins would like his company to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. But state regulators aren’t allowing it.

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DraftKings CEO Jason Robins at a conference in 2016. He wants to take crypto as payment, but states aren’t allowing it. (Image: YouTube)

Robins made the comments at an event sponsored by stock trading app Public on Wednesday. He didn’t specify which digital assets the company would like to take as a form of payment. Bitcoin is, by far, the largest digital asset, with a market capitalization of $695.33 billion. Nor did the DraftKings boss specify if he’s hoping to take crypto as payment for daily fantasy sports (DFS), internet casinos, online sports betting, or all three activities.

The payment methods we can accept are determined by the individual state regulators, and as of now, crypto is not an approved payment type in any of the states where we’re live,” said Robins at the Public event.

He added that digital assets will “likely transform some entire industries and portions of others.”

Gaming Industry Slowly Warming to Bitcoin

There are inklings the gaming industry is ready to embrace bitcoin. For example, gaming device manufacturer International Game Technology earlier this year won a patent to allow players to use digital currencies on slot machines.

Sony Interactive Entertainment recently published a patent that, if approved, would permit the PlayStation maker to offer esports wagering with bitcoin. Resorts World Las Vegas, which opens on the Strip in two weeks, is working with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to permit Gemini crypto wallet holders to use digital assets as payment at the casino and hotel.

Those are recent examples. But back in 2014, Derek Stevens’ D Las Vegas and Golden Gate properties in downtown Las Vegas embraced bitcoin. Those venues even feature bitcoin ATMs. Patrons of D and Golden Gate can use the dominant cryptocurrency to pay for dining, rooms, and items in the gift shops.

More operators are embracing cashless gaming systems, and that could set the stage for advancing the intersection of casino gaming and cryptocurrency in the future.

DraftKings State Outlook for Crypto

DraftKings currently offers mobile sports betting in 11 states, and operators brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Mississippi and New York. The company’s online casino platform is operational in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington are the states where DraftKings cannot offer DFS.

DraftKings clients can fund accounts with gift cards or at Boost Mobile stores in some states. But when states approve crypto for sports betting and DFS accounts remains to be seen.

For the operator, there are some encouraging signs. It’s live in two of the top 10 states where folks are interested in digital assets, those being Colorado and New Jersey. Additionally, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Michigan are three of the top 10 states where people are actively using bitcoin and other digital tokens.

Though it’s a small state, Wyoming is advancing crypto regulations more rapidly than any other state, and is an emerging hub for digital asset investment. The state recently legalized sports wagering, and it’s slated to launch there later this year, though it’s not clear if DraftKings will pursue a license there.

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