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Sports betting platform provider Kambi on Wednesday announced a deal with another emerging US operator. This time, the Malta-based technology company reached an agreement to provide sportsbook services for Affinity Interactive, which plans to operate under the brand DRF Sports.
While terms of the agreement were not released, a joint statement said the two sides signed off on a multi-year partnership. The pact calls for Kambi to provide the platform for Affinity Interactive’s online and brick-and-mortar sports betting operations.
Among the services Kambi will offer include odds management, customer intelligence, risk management, and compliance.
Affinity Interactive’s subsidiaries include the Daily Racing Form, an omnichannel horse racing publication that provides readers with detailed data to help make wagering selections. It also owns Affinity Gaming, which operates eight casinos in Iowa, Missouri, and Nevada. Affinity Interactive also owns DRF Bets, an advance-deposit online horse racing wagering platform.
In September, the Daily Racing Form and DRF Bets announced the creation of DRF Sports. While it launched as an information resource for sports bettors, the plan has been to eventually transition into a sports betting operator. The deal with Kambi creates that possibility, pending regulatory approvals.
Affinity Interactive Chairman James Zenni said the Kambi announcement comes at an exciting time for the company.
Partnering with Kambi will allow us to capitalize on a number of compelling opportunities and position our businesses for shared success,” he said. “This is the first step in our strategy of rolling out the DRF Sports brand to online customers for sports betting and iGaming.”
The initial launch will be online in Iowa. But the statement noted additional states will be announced starting in 2022.
Affinity Positioning DRF Brand
Earlier this year, Affinity Gaming merged with Sports Interactive Group, which owned the Daily Racing Form, to create Affinity Interactive.
Affinity Gaming operates the Lakeside Hotel Casino in Iowa. In Nevada, it operates the Silver Sevens, an off-strip casino in Las Vegas, plus three casinos – Buffalo Bill’s, Primm Valley, and Whiskey Pete’s – in Primm near the California border, and Rail City in Sparks.
Lakeside, Primm Valley, and Rail City all currently host William Hill sportsbooks. William Hill’s US operations were acquired by Caesars Entertainment, which has since rebranded most of the William Hill US sportsbooks under its own name.
While the Affinity casinos’ websites still mention the William Hill brand, they also promote free-play DRF Sports cash games. That, along with Thursday’s announcement, would indicate the brick-and-mortar facilities will eventually take on the DRF brand once it gets approved for licensure.
Affinity Gaming also operates the St. Joe Frontier and Mark Twain casinos in Missouri, which has yet to pass a sports betting bill.
Nylen Says Kambi, Affinity Make Good Pair
Kambi is a major player in the US sports betting market. The company is a technology provider for such operators as Barstool Sportsbook, BetRivers, Unibet, and TwinSpires. It also has partnerships with such tribal operators as Seneca Resorts and Casinos in New York and Four Winds Casinos in Indiana and Michigan.
Kambi CEO Kristian Nylén said in a statement that working with Affinity in both the retail and online sectors presents “an exciting opportunity to showcase the strength of our product and leverage our experience” in the industry.
“The combination of Kambi’s advanced technology, DRF Sports’ multimedia information capabilities, and Affinity Interactive’s regional casino assets makes for an enticing sports betting proposition,” Nylén said.
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