New Jersey is waking up. It feels it in its bones. Enough to make its systems blow.

For NJ sports betting, welcome to the new age. And welcome the first surprise platform to go mobile: DraftKings.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved the application by DraftKings and its land-based partner, Resorts, to offer online and mobile sports betting.

The DraftKings Sportsbook application was released Wednesday and entertained invite-only users while the app undergoes several days of testing.

First to the punch

Ever since NJ sports betting has been legalized in June, the focus has been on which properties would first open sportsbooks within state boundaries.

Quickly, though, the attention shifted to which sportsbooks would take advantage of mobile wagering, which became legal 30 days after Gov. Phil Murphy put pen to paper.

Turns out, a dark horse became the first to do so — though it had long publicized its desire to tap into the industry.

Even without a physical sportsbook at Resorts, DraftKings utilized the casino’s license to offer mobile sports betting to become the first online sports betting app to go live outside of Nevada.

While neither Resorts nor DraftKings were reached for comment, Kristian Nylen, CEO of DraftKings’ tech partner Kambi, released a statement:

“Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Kambi, creating history with our partner DraftKings by processing the first online wager outside of Nevada following the repeal of PASPA. To be the first, and so far and only, sports betting supplier to receive a Transactional Waiver to operate online in New Jersey only strengthens our position as the secure and quality choice for operators seeking a sportsbook partner.”

Highlights of the app

Add DraftKings Sportsbook to its growing list of mobile apps, alongside DraftKings and DK Live.

The DraftKings Sportsbook app, according to an interview with product lead Dan Hannigan-Daley (conducted by Legal Sports Report), was built from the ground up yet still displays DraftKings’ iconic crowned-D logo and black-and-green color scheme.

The app, which will be available on Android and iOS, will offer game and individual props, futures, alternate lines, and in-play betting. To boot, users can set betting trends while a carousel highlighting the most relevant wagers will also be on display — bets that users have frequented recently and might be more interested in.

NJ online sports betting just getting started

DraftKings may have been the first to take its sportsbook to the mobile market. But it will not be the only one for long.

Earlier this week, during a press conference announcing its partnership with the NBAMGM Resorts International made its intentions clear on jumping online soon.

From MGM CEO Jim Murren:

“Closer to home here, of course we own Borgata, and at the end of this week, we’ll be taking mobile bets from Borgata and playMGM in New Jersey.”

Not to be outdone, Caesars Entertainment announced that its Caesars Casino & Sports mobile app, combining its online casino and sportsbook, will be “coming soon” for bettors in the Garden State. It is likely that the app will launch before football season.

As for DraftKings’ chief daily fantasy sports competitor FanDuel, which has a sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack, the rivalry has added heat. FanDuel Sportsbook debuted at Meadowlands on July 14.

Yet while FanDuel got the early leg up, DraftKings — as it did to every other competitor — was the first to punch the mobile ticket.

Grant Lucas

About

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.