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DraftKings Launches Second Physical Sportsbook In Manchester

Jonathan Phelps

Dick Anagnost expressed skepticism about opening a physical sports betting location inside his South Willow Street restaurant, but Charlie McIntyre, the head of New Hampshire Lottery, convinced him otherwise.

“He is probably the best salesman in the state,” said Anagnost, president of Anagnost Companies, on Sunday morning.

Anagnost said the DraftKings Sportsbook and the new Filotimo Casino & Restaurant were renovated in about 90 days. Filotimo, which features Greek cuisine, shares space with the longtime South Side Tavern at 1279 South Willow St., which has always hosted charitable gambling and bingo.

“The Filotimo Casino & Restaurant is an economic bright spot in these uncertain times,” he said.

Just hours before the New England Patriots’ season opener kicked off, dozens gathered outside Filotimo for its grand opening. DraftKings also has a location in Seabrook.

As soon as the doors opened, several guests immediately placed bets using the machines in the lobby and spread out across the entire building.

“DraftKings is excited that sports are back and sports bettors are coming out to play in record numbers,” said Tim Dent, chief compliance officer at Boston-based DraftKings.

Physical bets can be placed on the machines while the game is being watched at two bar areas inside the renovated space. In most cases, winnings can be collected on the spot. DraftKings offers both digital and in-person betting.

“It is kind of like going to a racetrack, where you are now holding a ticket and now you’re sweating the game out here,” Dent said.

The state launched legal sports betting on Dec. 30 — six months early to profit from the NFL playoffs. The state splits DraftKings’ profits on the bets with the proceeds going toward education across the state.

The state is seeing about $1 million wagering activity every day, according to McIntyre.

“Our numbers the past month have been well in excess of what we expected for revenues. I expect that to continue and grow,” he said.

Many future bets have been placed where the results won’t be known for months.

“For some reason, New Hampshire people love Tampa Bay; now they are betting Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl and their betting for Tom Brady to win the NFL MVP award,” McIntyre said.

The lottery brought in about $2.1 million in fiscal year 2020. The state anticipates about $10 million in profits for the state this fiscal year.

The state took a hit with March Madness, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, being canceled.

“March Madness is the second-biggest sporting event to be bet on other than the NFL,” McIntyre said.

Gov. Chris Sununu said during the ribbon cutting the new space wouldn’t have happened without the partnerships between Anagnost, NH Lottery and DraftKings.

“It would have been easy to kick the ball down the road and wait for 2021. We could have all done that,” Sununu said. “But if we did that we wouldn’t be taking advantage of what a lot of people believe are coming, which are very strong economic times next year. We don’t want to be building in the spring of ’21, we want to be taking advantage of it.”

Anagnost said the new Greek restaurant is needed in the Queen City.

“Manchester used to have 10 Greek restaurants,” he said, noting there was only one left before opening Filotimo. The entire operation has about 100 employees.

“Business is starting to come back, the pandemic did a number on us because we were closed for a number of weeks,” Anagnost said. “This truly is a ray of light during a dark time.”