Online sports betting platform Draftkings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG) on Friday reported first-quarter results, which showed a net revenue increase of 30% year-over-year in part due to the growth of esports, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said Friday evening on CNBC's "Mad Money."
Sports fans have been forced to spend the summer months without NHL and NBA playoffs and the start of the MLB season. However, sports betters have found a new venue to keep them occupied: gambling on video games.
Esports represented a "really small" portion of DraftKings' business until about two months ago, Robins said. The surge in popularity is due to the obvious reason it's among "the only thing" anyone was playing amid the quarantine and lockdown orders.
Robins said initial momentum from esports appears to have not only "stuck," but is now a "huge growth area." Fans are finding it fun to follow although it's difficult to model what role it will play once a major league sports resume.
Why It's Important
The public is showing signs they are clearly "hungry for sports to come back," especially after DraftKings saw not only record interest in the NFL Draft, but the rise of "alternative sports" betting like table tennis, Robins said.
DraftKings' revenue outlook remains unclear as it's nearly impossible to predict when professional sports will resume, the CEO said. But in the meantime, the company is exploring new ways to engage with customers, such as a free-to-play pool for episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
"We're finding ways to engage customers, and we all hope that traditional sports will return soon," Robins said.
Photo credit: World Poker Tour, Flickr