Daily fantasy sports provider and sportsbook operator DraftKings will donate 100% of its revenues to charities and other initiatives that combat racial injustice in the United States from the days the WNBA and NBA return to action — Aug. 28 and 29, respectively — after sitting out in protest of police brutality.
Neither league has played since the Milwaukee Bucks sat out their scheduled Game 5 playoff against the Orlando Magic Aug. 26 in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. WNBA players announced they would be using Aug. 27 as a “day of reflection.” Both leagues plan to resume play.
On Aug. 27, Draftkings posted a statement on Twitter in support of the leagues and others opting not to play.
“The DraftKings community can play an important role in amplifying the message of Black athletes. We stand with the Black community in pursuit of basic human rights and justice,” the company said.
Daily fantasy sports companies make money by keeping a percentage of contestants’ entry fees, called a “rake,” usually in the 10-20% range. DraftKings is guaranteeing a minimum $100,000 donation, but expects it to be closer to $500,000, CEO Jason Robins said in a CNBC interview.
“Obviously we’d love to see the games resume, and that’s something that’s important to us, but I think that there’s a larger issue at stake here and it’s an important time for us to be talking about that,” Robins said.
On Aug. 14, DraftKings reported nearly 25% revenue growth in its 2020 fiscal second quarter ending in June, despite limited sports offerings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company projects between $500 million and $540 million in revenue in the second half of 2020.
Since the start of its third fiscal quarter, the company became the PGA Tour’s first official betting operator and extended its multi-year, exclusive agreement as MLB’s official daily fantasy sports partner.