Founded by three former Vistaprint executives in 2011, Boston’s DraftKings became the third site to enter the burgeoning daily fantasy sports (DFS) market when it launched in April 2012. The company quickly grew as the DFS industry surged, and boasts of paying out $45 million in winnings in 2013, its first full year of operation.
DraftKings has had no trouble attracting investors and has procured a total of $75 million to date from VC firms like Redpoint Ventures, GGV Capital and Atlas Venture. The company was the first DFS site to launch a mobile app, and strives to stand out from the competition by providing a superior mobile experience for its users.
The Boston-based company has also inked partnerships with the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and, more recently, became the official fantasy sports partner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Game Options and Payout Structures
DraftKings users can create rosters for MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, CFB, CBB, PGA, SOC and MMA contests. The site offers a wide of betting formats, included the following:
- Tournaments: Sometimes called Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs), these contests can grow quite large, with winners taking home a big payday for relatively low buy-in.
- Qualifiers: Qualifiers give users the chance to win entry into a bigger buy-in tournament for a fraction of the price.
- Head-to-head: These contests pit you against one other player, with the winner leaving with all of the cash.
- 50/50: finish in the top half of the field and you’ll receive double your buy-in; finish in the bottom half and you’ll go home empty-handed.
- League: users have the option to join leagues of a variety of sizes, or can create their own.
- Multipliers: this format pays a certain fraction of the field a predetermined multiple of the buy-in.
- Steps: In Steps tournaments, players can either win or buy their way into the next round of the contest. The final step features a substantial prize pool which can be won with just a small investment starting at the first step.
Players can make deposits via American Express, Visa, Discover and MasterCard credit cards, along with PayPal and Dwolla. DraftKings handles withdrawals by first refunding the source of the original deposit, then giving users a choice between PayPal and a check.
The cashier also allows players to check their tickets, transaction history, and change their preferences. In the “Free Bonus Offers” tab, players can use DraftKings dollars to buy goods and services from real world businesses.
DraftKings Sign-Up Bonus
First-time depositors can receive a 100% match bonus up to $600, along with a free $2 contest entry. The bonus is released at a rate of $1 for every 100 frequent player points (FPPs) earned, and expires after four months. Most players will not be able to overcome the time constraint and will be forced to leave some of their bonus money on the table. Users also have the option of using FPPs to buy into a variety of events.
- Web browser: DraftKings features be accessed through the website using all major browsers.
- Mobile: DraftKings has paid special attention to its mobile clients, making mobile development a priority. The site was the first to introduce a mobile app, which is now available on iOS devices. In late 2014 it launched its Android offering, which has recently received a major update. DraftKings can also be accessed outside of the app with mobile browsers like Safari.
Where is DraftKings legal?
DraftKings is considered a game of skill and is legal in the US and Canada, with the exception of Iowa, Louisiana, Washington, Montana and Arizona.
DraftKings Promotions and Special Events
- Frequent Player Points (FPPs) – FPPs are rewarded for every paid contest which users enter. They can be used to release chunks of the deposit bonus or to enter special DraftKings events.
- Championships – DraftKings runs several special live events, including a $3.3 million prize pool fantasy baseball championship and a $1 million Bank Shot basketball event. In 2015, the site will offer an NBA world championship with a $2 million prize pool.
- Refer a friend – users can receive up to 35% on every referral, but are paid in DraftKings dollars which can be used to enter contests on the site but can’t be withdrawn as cash.
DraftKings has secured its place among the top DFS sites with huge guarantees, a generous deposit bonus, and a big selection of leagues from which to draft. The company has worked hard to promote the industry through partnerships with big-name brands like the WSOP and Ultimate Fighter. DraftKings has made its site accessible from nearly every device, and hopes to grab more market share with polished iOS and Android apps.