DraftKings Overtakes FanDuel as Leader in American Online Gambling

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell


  • FanDuel had a 42% online gambling market share in 2022
  • DraftKings’ stock is up 144% this year
  • DraftKings has gotten in the good graces of bettors via promotions and friendly gestures

There’s a new sheriff in town. DraftKings recently overtook FanDuel in online gambling market share, making it the top American operator for all legal sports betting entities.

A study by research company Eilers & Krejcik Gaming revealed that 31% of overall gross gaming revenue was tied to DraftKings, while only 30% was from FanDuel. That’s a dramatic shake-up considering that FanDuel has been the out-and-out leader for years and seemingly been beyond reproach.

According to the research, FanDuel still holds the lead in sports betting market share (39.3% to 34.1%). Even still, DraftKings has plenty of reason for optimism.

A momentous change

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming concluded that DraftKings assumed the top spot in August, just a month before the NFL season began.

The 30% total represents a decline for FanDuel. It controlled 42% of the online gambling market in 2022, whereas DraftKings fell to 20% during the same year, which was even below BetMGM.

A possible explanation for DraftKings' surging momentum is its ability to acquire new patrons through the form of sign-up promotions.

At the time of writing, DraftKings has a more lucrative new-user bonus than FanDuel. The three-part offer includes a $50 bonus bet, a bet $5 to win $200 guarantee, and a 20% deposit match up to $1,000, all in the form of bonus bets. FanDuel, meanwhile, only has a bet $5 to win $200 deal.

The implication is that this offer along with its overall gaming momentum will help it continue steady growth during the busiest time of the year for sportsbooks.

“[This] is a major move that signals a shifting competitive landscape — one that we believe will continue to shift as big new brands Fanatics and ESPN Bet begin to ramp,” Eilers & Krejcik said.

There’s widespread speculation and anticipation that the launch of both Fanatics (already live in four states) and ESPN Bet will put pressure on the Big Four: FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM.

Fanatics has already introduced plans to combine its unique catalog of sporting memorabilia and merchandise to leverage its sports betting platform. Meanwhile, PENN and Disney-backed ESPN Bet has massive capital backing to draw from and will tap into ESPN’s live-streaming and content offerings.

Plans for future growth 

Despite the recent report, DraftKings is planning to continue growing in the gambling market.

“We enjoy the chart, but no one is anywhere close to satisfied yet at DraftKings!” DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish said on X.

The company’s stock has already risen 144% in the fiscal year. Considering it started the year with debates over how to handle promotions and fired 3.5% of its workforce, that’s a remarkable reversal of fortune—and it’s a testament to the company’s savviness in an industry that is constantly changing and innovating.

“DraftKings’ ability to reel in FanDuel speaks to a company that is stepping away from squishy narratives and harnessing the power of more focused, disciplined execution,” Eilers & Krejcik said.

Many bettors have also grown fond of DraftKings because of their treatment of customers. The company refunded all bets on Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson over the weekend after he barely played with a severe headache.

DraftKings, along with Caesars and BetMGM, also refunded Aaron Rodgers bets and said they would partially refund futures bets after he tore his Achilles four plays into his debut with the New York Jets. FanDuel, on the other hand, marked Rodgers’ bets as a loss.

DraftKings’ next financial report will be revealed on November 2.

Online sportsbooks as a collective will be looking forward to the next few months with the NBA, NFL, and World Series all still to come.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.