DraftKings may open partner sports bars in Nashville, pending approval from state regulators

DraftKings on Thursday announced a partnership with dining and entertainment concept Sports & Social — an agreement that could bring Sports & Social/DraftKings sports bars to Nashville.

If the concept is approved by regulators, DraftKings plans to bring its sports gaming products "to life by offering engaging, interactive fan-first destinations" to its customers in Nashville and Detroit, Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz said in a news release. 

Gambling kiosks and tellers would be notably absent from any Nashville locations. Brick-and-mortar gambling venues are prohibited in Tennessee, the only state to allow sports gaming solely on online platforms. Patrons of Sports & Social/DraftKings sports bars in Nashville would only be able to place wagers online using personal mobile devices.

The concept has not yet been approved by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, the state's sports gaming regulator. The specific locations of Sports & Social/DraftKings venues have yet to be announced.

"Today, so much of sports betting is focused on the mobile-technology aspect," Kucharz said in the release. "However, the in-person experience is an integral layer that we look forward to advancing alongside Sports & Social's premier dining and entertainment offerings."

Sports & Social venues feature "upscale gaming parlors" and "state-of-the-art audio and visual displays," and new Sports & Social/DraftKings locations would be designed by ICRAVE to focus on sports and entertainment, according to the release.

Sports & Social is a creation of Live! Dining and Entertainment, a food-and-beverage-focused division of The Cordish Companies. Sports & Social currently operates several locations near sports stadiums, entertainment districts and casinos throughout the nation, including in Atlanta, St. Louis, Arlington, Texas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Baltimore/Washington corridor.

"We are always looking to create new and innovative experiences for our guests and this collaboration will allow us an exciting opportunity to do so, bringing an incredible premier sports-watching experience with sports betting all under one roof," Reed Cordish, principal of The Cordish Companies, said in the release.

DraftKings' sports gambling platform operates in 14 states through its online platform and 10 retail locations. The company's fantasy sports product is available in seven countries, and its sports betting and gaming technologies are used by more than 50 operators in 17 countries. 

Reach reporter Cassandra Stephenson at ckstephenson@tennessean.com or at (731) 694-7261. Follow Cassandra on Twitter at @CStephenson731.

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