Sports betting platform DraftKings plunges 13% after COVID outbreak halts MLB games

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty ImagesJustin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands on third base after a single by Cody Bellinger #35 during the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
  • 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 cancelled 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 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 and cancel 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 cancelled 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, has been postponed.

“The members of the Marlins’ travelling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcomes of those results,” MLB said in a statement.

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The delays and cancellations pose a serious risk for DraftKings. The firm went public in late April through a $US3.3 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.

Even if major sports are delayed further, DraftKings 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 $US34.74 per share as of 12:40 p.m. ET Monday.

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