- Draft Kings is partnering with payment and technologies firm InComm Payments to launch the first ever branded gift card issued by a US sports betting company.
- The DraftKings card will be available in $25 and $50 denominations at retailers like 7-Eleven, Speedway and Dollar General.
- The move not only offers DraftKings players another deposit method but gives the company strong brand visibility in retail outlets all over North America.
I’ll admit that I frequently gripe about the rollout of sports betting in the United States. The reason I complain is because ‘I care’. I’ve been involved with sports betting since I was a teenager and know its potential. It really infuriates me when I see states like Tennessee completely screwing up something that could not only be lucrative for the state but enjoyable for their citizens. This is the same reason that I practically weep with joy every time I set foot in Colorado–they’ve so far exceeded my lofty expectations and are doing a spectacular job building their sports betting ecosystem. As soon I we can get enough of the unwashed masses to get a COVID-19 vaccine I’ll be back out in Colorado. Right now, traveling just isn’t worth it….but I digress….
Every now and then, however, I have to step back and take a gander at the ‘big picture’. I never thought that the US would get to this point in my lifetime. Even with idiotic state governments like Oregon and Tennessee befouling the US sports betting scene there’s enough cool stuff happening to keep me engaged and optimistic. Every couple of days I come across something that causes me to say to my self “self, this is something really cool that I thought I’d never see”.
Case in point–sports betting and daily fantasy powerhouse DraftKings has partnered with InComm Payments to launch the US sports betting industry’s first branded retail gift card. You know that big rack of cards you see at the front of your local 7-Eleven? You’ll soon see DraftKings among brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Steam, etc.
The cards are rolling out literally and metaphorically as we speak and will be available in fine stores like 7-Eleven along with other convenience stores, pharmacies and..uh…other stores that sell gift cards. You’ll be able to buy DK gift cards in denominations of $25 and $50 (hopefully they’ll offer higher denominations at some point–at least $100) and use it to post up for their sports betting and/or daily fantasy services subject to the regulatory constraints of your state. Here’s the blurb from the DraftKings press release:
DraftKings Inc. (Nasdaq: DKNG), a leader in the digital sports entertainment and gaming industry known for its top-rated daily fantasy sports and mobile sports betting apps, today announced an agreement with InComm Payments, a global leading payments technology company, to launch an industry-first retail gift card. The launch will expand DraftKings’ presence in convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Speedway, Dollar General, and Sheetz, and also enable consumers to gift the DraftKings experience to others in $25 and $50 denominations.
Matt Kalish, Co-Founder and President of DraftKings North America, knows that this is a pretty big deal:
“Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, we are proud to work with InComm Payments to get DraftKings gift cards on the shelves at several popular retailers. We are thrilled to provide our customers with another way to fund their accounts and engage with our real money products through this first-of-its-kind offering.”
Tim Richardson, Senior VP at InComm Payments, emphasized the significance of having the DraftKings brand front and center at Dollar General Stores in flyover country:
“DraftKings popularity has grown substantially over the last couple of years and their fanbase is large and passionate. This agreement not only offers consumers a great gifting opportunity but also represents a significant brand expansion and enhancement opportunity for DraftKings who, for the first time, will benefit from having its brand present in tens of thousands of InComm Payments’ retail partner locations across the U.S.”
The DraftKings Gift Card website is already up and and running to check your balance and view transactions at https://draftkingsgiftcard.com:
A NEW ERA IN ONLINE SPORTS BETTING PAYMENTS
DraftKings isn’t the first prepaid card to be used in US sports betting. William Hill used a service called PayNearMe for years in Nevada–it allowed you to top up your betting account at a local 7-Eleven or CVS location.
PayNearMe serves a variety of industries but they feature their ‘Sports Betting and iGaming’ services on their corporate website:
More recently, William Hill Nevada has introduced their own prepaid card called the ‘Priority Access Card’:
Other companies have similar setups including Stations Casinos:
There is already a ‘multi-branded’ gift card that allows funding of accounts at a number of sportsbooks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania called ‘GameOn’. This service is offered by a payment provider named Blackhawk Network in conjunction with Metabank N.A.:
Despite these previous payment systems, DraftKings’ branded card is still revolutionary. In addition to providing a quick and easy way for noobs to ‘get in the game’ this is a subtle but effective way to make their brand and logo ubiquitous well beyond the sports betting ecosystem. COVID-19 has made cashless payment solutions a priority for all industries–including gaming. This reality, combined with an industry full of payment solutions providers looking for new market opportunities, should keep the innovation coming.