Sports betting company DraftKings and the Drone Racing League (DRL) will now allow betting on drone races in some states, the two companies announced. DRL, which CNBC describes as a first-person view racing league, allows pilots to compete for prizes by flying their drones through courses.
Residents of Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, and West Virginia will be able to bet on the races via their phones, and regulatory approval is pending for betting on drone races in other states, the companies said. The terms of the deal and the amounts of the prize money weren’t disclosed, but drone racers in a 2017 tournament competed for $100,000.
“The sky is now the limit for DRL fans to get skin in the game, and we’re thrilled to partner with DraftKings to transform our high-speed race competition into the ultimate sport to bet on,” DRL President Rachel Jacobson said in a statement. According to CNBC, drones used in the events are built by DRL, and each one is worth about $2,000. The league has deals for media rights to the races with NBC Sports and Sky Sports, and a streaming arrangement with Twitter to host its preflight shows.
DraftKings first introduced DRL drone races last year as a kind of test run, and says response was better than expected. According to Forbes, the first free-to-play pool in November drew more than 150,000 entrants. DRL was established in 2015.
The first races, part of the 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season, are slated for Saturday at 4:30PM ET on NBC, Twitter, and Facebook. DRL and DraftKings will host pre-flight shows ahead of the live events to give fans details on how to participate.