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- Sports betting platform DraftKings stock sank as much as 12.8% on Monday after a coronavirus outbreak in the Miami Marlins baseball team delayed some Major League Baseball games.
- The MLB was the first major US sports league to resume activity when its season began on Thursday.
- The league postponed a game between the Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles after The Athletic reported four Marlins players took part in a Sunday game after testing positive for COVID-19.
- A game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies — the Marlins’ Sunday opponent — was also postponed.
- Watch DraftKings trade live here.
Shares of sports gambling platform DraftKings tanked as much as 12.8% on Monday after a new coronavirus outbreak led Major League Baseball to postpone two games.
The 2020 MLB season is among the few sports calendars relatively intact amid the coronavirus pandemic. Games began on Thursday after delays related to testing and implementing strict safety measures for players and staff.
Yet the season could end just days after beginning after the Miami Marlins played a game on Sunday despite four players testing positive for COVID-19, according to The Athletic. The league has since canceled the Marlin’s Monday game against the Baltimore Orioles. Monday’s game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, who played the Marlins on Sunday, was also postponed.
“The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcomes of those results,” MLB said in a statement.
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The delays pose a serious risk for DraftKings and its hopes for a sports-betting resurgence. The firm went public in late April through a $3.3 billion merger with special-purpose acquisition firm Diamond Eagle, well before any major US sports leagues resumed activity. Yet shares more than doubled in the months following as investors bet on economic reopenings and containment of the virus to revive sports and related betting businesses.
“While our business in the short term is partially dependent on the sports calendar, we have always said we are playing the long game and will continue our focus on driving a technology first approach to product innovation in order to keep sports fans engaged,” a DraftKings spokesperson told Business Insider.
Even if major sports are delayed further, the company has shown it can pivot to other betting ventures. Entries on the company’s fantasy esports contests skyrocketed 50-fold in March as customers started to brace for months without sports. DraftKings also allowed users to bet on virtual matches taking place in popular games including Madden NFL.
DraftKings traded at $34.74 per share as of 12:40 p.m. ET Monday.
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