DraftKings Receives Public Backlash Over ‘Never Forget’ 9/11 Parlay Promo

DraftKings Sportsbook is facing public backlash after posting a 9/11 parlay boost promotion in honor of the national day of remembrance. The promo, titled “Never Forget,” offered a pre-built parlay on three New York teams to win their games this past Monday, Sept. 11.

DraftKings Offers “9/11 Never Forget” Promo

Sports bettors who signed into their DraftKings Sportsbook account on Sunday night were greeted with a new 9/11-themed parlay promo offer. In honor of the day, users could get +651 odds for a three-leg parlay on the New York Jets, Yankees, and Mets to all win their games on Monday.

The parlay read:

“Bet these New York teams to win tonight on 9/11”

DraftKings Never Forget

Although DraftKings perhaps intended to show support and stand with the people of New York, the promo came off as questionable, at best. To harsher critics, the promo was distasteful, inappropriate, and altogether avoidable.

The concern wasn’t that the sportsbook was commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Rather, the issue dealt with DraftKings leveraging this painful day in U.S. history to profit off customers.

The matter came to light Monday morning as bettors began voicing disapproval via social media.

https://twitter.com/chuckgoldberg/status/1701209284359467389

DraftKings Retracts 9/11 Promo, Issues Apology

DraftKings soon retracted the offer, but not before hundreds of users had already placed wagers on the parlay. The sportsbook issued an apology statement for its misplaced patriotism, saying:

“We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11. We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected.”

According to screenshots, more than 800 people wagered on this promo.

DraftKings Stock Down

Since markets closed on Monday, DraftKings stock is down $1.10/share (3.46 percent). Though the stock dip is likely a product of factors unrelated to the promo — such as early handle projections and figures for NFL Week 1 — the possibility remains that the Never Forget promo has something to do with the sentiment that has influenced the drop.

While DraftKings isn’t the first sports betting operator to face public scrutiny, the situation stand outs by virtue of the fact that is was manifested in the form of a featured bet.

Though it’s difficult to determine how much of a lasting effect this will have on DraftKings, sports bettors will have the final say. This could be a promo faux-pas that passes as quickly as Mac Jones in the pocket. Or, this could be an indiscretion the public truly never forgets.

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Alec Cunningham is a lead writer and analyst for Lineups.com. She has covered countless online sports betting and casino legislation topics and now specializes in responsible gambling and gambling addiction recovery. In 2022, she served as a panelist at the All-American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry. As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. After working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer, she returned to her love of written word in 2020. Since then, Cunningham's love of sports has led her to become a responsible gambling advocate.

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