Apr 17, 2020 - Sports

DraftKings inches closer to going public

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

DraftKings is one step closer to going public, after the SEC approved its reverse merger with blank-check acquisition company Diamond Eagle and sports betting enterprise solution SBTech.

What's next: Diamond Eagle's shareholders will vote April 23 on the merger, which is expected to go through.

  • Why it matters: With this deal, DraftKings will become "the only vertically integrated U.S. sports betting and online gaming company," per Variety's Dave McNary.

Background: DraftKings was founded in 2012 as a platform for daily fantasy sports (DFS) — a market already dominated by FanDuel, which launched three years earlier.

  • In 2017, the FTC blocked a merger between FanDuel and DraftKings, citing fears of a monopoly.
  • In 2018, after PASPA was overturned and gaming legislation could be made at the state level, DraftKings Sportsbook — the first legal, online sports betting venue — was born.

The bottom line: Despite the global economy grinding to a halt, the environment surrounding this deal should allow the business to flourish in the long run.

  • DraftKings is a marketing behemoth, SBTech offers best-in-class infrastructure, and whenever we emerge from this crisis, more states will have regulated sports betting markets than ever before.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,722,408 — Total deaths: 393,934 — Total recoveries — 2,996,534Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,894,502 — Total deaths: 109,000 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.