‘A Perfect Fit’: DraftKings Acquires Vegas Sports Information Network

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 30, 2021

DraftKings today announced that it has acquired Vegas Sports Information Network, Inc. (VSiN). The multi-platform broadcast and content company VSiN has been offering sports betting news, analysis and data to US sports bettors since 2017.

The sale of the Las Vegas-based media company shouldn’t come as a surprise. VSiN has investments from SeventySix Capital and Derek Stevens. The Las Vegas casino operator purchased 10% of VSiN in 2018.

Venture capital firms like SeventySix Capital typically sell their investments for a profit. Enter DraftKings and a billion dollars earmarked to acquire synergistic companies. Matt Kalish, a co-founder of DraftKings, discussed the deal this morning on VSiN.

Content is king for DraftKings

Its acquisition of VSiN will allow DraftKings to follow other sportsbook operators and build out its content. According to a press release, this deal will also allow VSiN the ability to broaden its audience as DraftKings Sportsbook is currently operating in 14 states.

“VSiN creates authentic and credible content that resonates with sports bettors at every level, whether they’re experienced or new to sports betting,” said Jason Robins, co-founder, CEO and chairman of the board for DraftKings.

“In addition to its brand equity among sports bettors and engaging talent roster, VSiN also has an established infrastructure that DraftKings can immediately help expand, in the hopes of adding value to consumers who are looking to become more knowledgeable about sports betting.”

The company develops, produces and distributes up to 18 hours of live sports betting content every day. VSiN offers its own 24/7 stream and is accessible live online via iHeartRadio, which also offers various podcasts from VSiN.

Specific programs can be found on local broadcast stations such as:

  • Rogers’ Sportsnet
  • MSG Networks
  • NESN
  • AT&T Pittsburgh
  • Marquee Sports Network

Streaming platforms like FuboTV and Sling also offer video content from VSiN.

DraftKings intends to integrate VSiN’s current Las Vegas employees, including its on-air talent, into its 2,600-person global workforce. The company says VSiN will be “maintaining editorial independence.”

VSiN uses odds provided by sportsbooks all over the US. Will that change with DraftKings integration?

VSiN broadcast locations in Las Vegas

VSiN started broadcasting in a studio near the sportsbook at the South Point in 2017. Some programming moved to a studio next to the sportsbook at Stevens’ Circa Resort and Casino when it opened in 2020. Additionally, the company has been broadcasting from a space inside the BetMGM sportsbook at Mandalay Bay.

VSiN has broadcasting and advertising partners with many Las Vegas casino and sportsbook operators. Meanwhile, DraftKings still doesn’t operate a sportsbook in Nevada. While DraftKings says VSiN will retain editorial control, it’s difficult to imagine all of the content will remain entirely the same.

VSiN is more than just an audio content company. It’s also a visual medium online and inside various casinos. DraftKings hasn’t revealed plans for the future of VSiN broadcasts, so there’s a lot of prognosticating on the future of the sports betting media outlet.

It’s not likely that the existing casino broadcast locations will want to promote a competing sportsbook operator. The video component could be stopped so there isn’t a visual conflict online. That would only change part of the conflict for the existing casinos with VSiN broadcasts.

DraftKings could bring everything in-house. This would leave the existing studios looking for new tenants. South Point could ditch the studio and repurpose the space. There are quite a few possibilities for the future of these broadcast locations.

DraftKings continues laying roots in Las Vegas

DraftKings does not operate a Las Vegas sportsbook yet. Yet. The company has been putting down roots in Las Vegas since it started to offer sports betting around the US.

The company started expanding its staff in Las Vegas way back in 2018 with the addition of former Wynn bookmaker Johnny Avello. In January 2020, DraftKings opened a Las Vegas office with 300 employees. After this recent acquisition, DraftKings says it has grown its local employee base by 132%.

DraftKings continued to get cozy with Las Vegas in November 2020. Late last year, DraftKings announced a deal with UNLV to open the DraftKings Gaming Innovation Studio.

Will DraftKings Sportsbook launch in Nevada?

So, when will Nevada residents be able to bet with DraftKings Sportsbook? It’s easy to begin speculation with a few sportsbook openings that may be available on the Vegas Strip.

  • Resorts World still hasn’t announced if they or if an outside vendor will operate the sportsbook when the property opens on the north end of the Vegas Strip this summer.
  • The Venetian was sold earlier this year. While Caesars-owned William Hill operates the sportsbook at The Venetian, the former Lagasse Stadium sportsbook at The Palazzo remains closed. Coincidentally, The Palazzo sportsbook has a broadcast studio.
  • The Tropicana is on the market. A new casino operator could decide to bring in DraftKings to operate its sportsbook.

DraftKings is primarily an online sportsbook. It would prefer that the Nevada Gaming Control Board would amend the sports betting account regulations to allow remote sportsbook signups. Unlike other states, Nevada sports betting apps can only be started at a sportsbook inside of a casino.

DraftKings does have casino partners throughout the country. Some of these partners have retail DraftKings sportsbook locations. Stay tuned, because DraftKings Sportsbook will eventually be available in Nevada.

Photo by AP / Charles Krupa
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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