DraftKings, SBTech May Prove Imperfect at First

When announced, the merger between DraftKings and SBTech sounded like a good deal for each side. But integrating the two companies is not as easy to pull off. There are the differing platforms and the differing technologies. Then there’s a need for specialized talent.

When sportsbook companies move from one tech company to another especially in merger mode, the transition is not always smooth. To illustrate, look at the merger between DraftKings and SBTech, where the giant sportsbook company has to migrate from Kambi to SBTech technology.

DraftKings faces two hoops to jump through: one to go from DraftKings platform to that of SBTech; and another to move its sportsbook from Kambi to SBTech.

“Despite DraftKings referring to itself as ‘the only vertically integrated sports betting company in the U.S.’, the vertical integration has not actually happened yet,” said analyst company, Redburn.

Indeed, DraftKings may not arrive at its destination points until late 2021, according to Legal Sports Report.

“Right now, we’re still in the early stages of planning around integration and migration,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said. “The goal for us is to make sure we have a high-quality migration and putting that above speed is the approach we’re taking.”

Turns out, Kambi and SBTech are not perfect meshing platforms, said Andrew Daniels, the CEO of Sharp Gaming. “There will be a lot of little differences. Assuming they want the exact same functionality on the front and back ends, they’ll have to develop it to match it.”

Also posing an obstacle: a mountain of data that might not be compatible between the two platforms, including pricing histories and customer intelligence.

On top of that, comes the need for talent.

Sports betting platforms aside, it’s difficult to find tech crews who also understand the nuances of every sport. And you have to keep your business on hold while working out the kinks, Daniels said.