Colts Upset More Than Chiefs Fans on Sunday Night

Posted on October 7, 2019 - Last Updated on January 3, 2020

While facing the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night cost the Kansas City Chiefs an undefeated season, a DraftKings Sportsbook Colts boost ensured the Chiefs weren’t the only ones feeling the pain.

In DraftKings’ first NFL weekend in the Hoosier State, the promotion got costly.

The Colts’ 19-13 road win allowed a good number of bettors to take advantage of the promotion. For DraftKings, it’s the cost of acquiring customers in Indiana.

Details on the DraftKings Colts boost for Sunday night

Though DraftKings is one of the first online sportsbooks in Indiana, it had competition immediately. BetRivers Sportsbook launched its mobile sportsbook the same day.

DraftKings enticed bettors in its first weekend in the Hoosier State with a boost on its moneyline on the Colts for Sunday night’s contest in Kansas City. The boost took the line from +460 to +1000.

Apparently it was difficult to resist. An astounding 38% of DraftKings customers in Indiana took those odds.

That made it costly for DraftKings when Indianapolis defied the +10.5 spread. Even though the limit for the bet was $10, the payout surpassed $300,000.

While that sounds like a significant loss, the Colts’ win was a good thing for DraftKings overall. Most of the action was placed on the Chiefs, as evidenced by the significant spread, so there’s no need to worry about DraftKings’ coffers.

Only on this particular boost did DraftKings take a bath. DraftKings can consider that a marketing cost, though underestimated.

Why DraftKings likely isn’t shy about doing this again

Boosts like these are pure marketing ploys. It’s no different than an online merchant offering a 10% code to new customers.

While DraftKings likely didn’t plan on this promotion costing almost a third of a million dollars, it could still pay off. The stakes in Indiana are high.

BetRivers is the only competitor in Indiana’s emerging mobile sports betting market, but that could change soon. Flutter’s acquisition of the Stars Group makes it likely that FanDuel and/or FoxBet will be live in the Hoosier State soon as well.

Caesars Entertainment‘s online product is another likely operator, as it has a strong retail presence in Indiana already. DraftKings struck while the field is relatively uncrowded with this boost.

If the customers who took advantage of the boost become frequent and loyal bettors to the popular Indiana sports betting app, it will have paid off. The word-of-mouth marketing from conversations those bettors had with their family and friends also represents value for DraftKings.

DraftKings knows it has to spend money to make money in Indiana. Betting on the Colts’ win this Sunday night was a perfect representation of the risk/reward aspect of running an online sportsbook.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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