- DraftKings has recently signed a $100,000 multiyear sponsorship agreement with UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation to cement its establishment in Nevada.
- The deal will lead to a new research and development studio at UNLV’s Stan Fulton Building.
- The sponsorship will also allow for the placing of DraftKings signage in various areas of the said building.
- DraftKings will also pick UNLV graduate talent in the casino game research and development field.
While Silver State doesn’t allow DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports betting offerings, the operator has continued to establish its presence in Las Vegas.
The recent signing of a $100,000 multiyear sponsorship agreement between the Boston-based company with UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation is the latest confirmation of this fact.
The agreement, which will lead to a new research and development studio at UNLV’s Stan Fulton Building, is a win-win proposition, said director of the center Daniel Sahl.
Sahl said that DraftKings sought to find more about the center from the university about seven months ago.
“We were happy to meet with them and talk about our great students and some of the cool ideas that come out of (the center),” Sahl said. “As we were discussing some of the (intellectual property) that might be available to them, they offered to partner with us more closely, which is where the idea for the studio came about.”
While DraftKings is more popular for its daily fantasy sports betting offerings, it also provides smartphone and desktop computer-based casino games. However, the company doesn’t have a gaming license in Nevada. Therefore, its games are prohibited in the state.
DraftKings plans to begin picking UNLV graduate talent in the casino game research and development field.
“Both DraftKings and UNLV are on the leading edge of developing the next wave of technology within the international gaming industry,” DraftKings co-founder Paul Liberman said in a statement. “Through this agreement, DraftKings not only has access to the latest ideas coming out of the Gaming Innovation studio, but it also allows us to deepen our relationship with the Las Vegas community,” he added.
DraftKings opened a small office in Las Vegas in 2018. With just under 200 employees in the city, the company has room to expand its WeWork office space at Town Square mall. The city’s employees primarily handle customer service problems, fraud protection, sportsbook trading, and other technical tasks.
“We only had a handful of employees in January, so we’ve already seen a huge growth in numbers, and we continue to hire rapidly, despite COVID-19,” said DraftKings spokeswoman Kayla Schmalz. “We’re hoping this partnership brings us closer to local talent as we continue to expand.”
The sponsorship will allow the placing of DraftKings signage in various areas of the Fulton Building.
“Now more than ever, we are delighted to collaborate with a company that is well-known for embracing innovation in gaming,” Sahl said. “This collaboration will help ensure that Nevada remains the global leader in gaming development and manufacturing, both now and in the future.”
Students from the center have contributed to eight product patents, seven of which are now commercial casino products.