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I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
First house
Second house
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
X
submitted by Worchester_St to nosleep [link] [comments]

On the subject of "Cut content" and content to come. + Some DLC/Expansion

On the subject of
In terms of some of the things I see on this sub (this post been shared a couple of places, but I do believe this sub aherds to a different ethic) try to take a (GIGANTIC) step back and think before you toss blind hate. This is meant to contribute.
If you see things missing in the list of missing content on ether cut content part of this post: that's you want in there, il add them in edit. Please quote a source then first, and I will add it to the list.
First... some mythbusting
"OMG THEY GETTING SUED" if you read into the lawyer companies in lead of this, you will quickly see its a money grab. F.ex of their "invitation" to any investors, they say " if you have more than 100 000 invested, contact us. " Or else they don't bother. That should tell you all you need to know about that
"ITS BUGGY AND UNPLAYABLE!" : many games has released in worse state than this, but few of those got a several hotfixes within days of release who stabilised the game. Its weaker on the core consoles launch editions, but it works. And SOME people are having problems. But not everyone.
"BUT THE MEDIA SAY..." and the media needs you to click their articles, when they say "game is broken" people get curious, your opinion is not your own all the sudden, its based on a belief the media always tells the truth. And in serious cases, like the recent events in Washington, they aim to tell stories of truth. Gaming journalism is a bit different. While many do their jobs in a correct manor (please see kotaku before its demise ) Most are based on clickbaiting, you start commenting on facebook post, oand you bring attention to it because you do not agree with a ridiculous title of an article, you already gone into their trap. Do not assume gaming journalism is stable. Its run as clickbait design at 90% of its cases. And its rumor mill central. Perspective and a healthy individuality and respect is IMPORTANT. Adhere to an opinion formed by your own thoughts, not someone else's. Base it on facts not a herd mentality to be part of the herd.
"They removed features!!!" No. If you are not part of the developer team, there is NO way you can be aware how the game was designed and worked on. here is some of the items "removed" and some OPINIONS on that, something everyone need to have, not sit there tossing hate because the game did not meet your specific design you imagined. Also remember they have said several times the game is subject to change. And this was said multiple times.
- Dual Wielding : This was without a doubt hard to implement, without making you overpowered, you have guns in this game you can construct your attributes around, having the added effects per weapon split on 2 weapons, would break the games balance and challenge. Also its not essential, a easy and logical cut.
- Wall running : This probably did not find its logical place, as f.ex it is not meant to be call of duty; they want to keep you more grounded and not have you move around to illogical, (dodge thing is a great feature instead of this) also it serves no longer purpose unless you have skills to reflect it. Level design also does not give this skill any place to be used a lot.
- Jackie cut content : As much I understand; they base this on the cutscenes. If there is an actual source or older gameplay saying it was more, the following still applies : Players spend on average over 10-15 HOURS in prologue. Where they build up a knowledge and friendship with Jackie and the world. learning its basic steps and getting to explore a whole district. Good idea. But to expand on that for 20-30 hours. before even hitting act 1, would destroy the immersion more. You will be TO invested in Jackie, and people would be angry and tossing salt on boards about why they killed him after spending so much time with him.
- Animations and cut scenes : This is one of those I do not have any information about, I feel it's more about the story design. f.ex the scene in the early gameplay where you wake up and find a sexual partner leaving the apartment. Or other stuff for immersion like small scenes like this. The "morning after" scene I do 100 % assume is because the players need to establish their own sexuality, and since its in focus they don't want to force anything over you. I do however miss more animations, but this game has GREAT cutscenes and this is nothing major.
- Train stations and subway : This might been pushed down the line for production, working on the city, its incredible large amount of quests, activities ,voice work, syncing, music and the incredible graphics and bugs. At some point they realised it could ether be added later or that they have problems putting the player into it without problems. Also it might been slow for players, not everyone (#gtakids) would like to fast travel.... in a slow manor... (like really.... fast travel needs to be fast)
- No hair dressecosmetic changes after start : I do believe this one was in there, but with the sexuality and transgender options; they might want to track how the crowd reacts to some of the options. I imagine they want to work towards having this as a free DLC pack shortly down the road. Not having a hairdresser alone seems weird tough, but it might just got pushed down the line to be its own pack complete release like Witcher did.
- Apartments, I seen people say you were supposed to own multiple apartments, but if the homes don't serve a bigger focus, and there is no cosmetic options present to make the home look good or interact more with (say a garage, with the possibility to customise your car, add items to apartment with actual purpose (say for training, shooting range, and so on) These items are logical to add later, as they serve no direct disruption to launch window of game. They are things i really hope do get added, and of course I understand with the bugs and problems during launch that this was not a priority. On a side note. you do get several homes in the games, but not maybe as you imagine them to be acquired. Will not spoil this.
And by all means, contribute with constructive responses. I would love to add ideas to this list also. Share what you think can be added to the game in a realistic manor. Here are some of my thoughts :
Generated quests and activities, based on voice work already present. Police, Hits and other activites who are simple but returns and are good way to even fill the world more up.
There is no secret, but no "failed" status that this game needs more activities. racing, gambling, and so on. some of these elements I expect. Racing is a thing in the game. But I have actually (even after 200 hours +++ ingame) not done this questline, but I do not think its repeatable after the quest (?), and it's apparently not challenging. So that could be expanded on. I expect gambling to be arriving without a doubt in the casino DLC, as if people are not aware there is a unfinished and closed off area in the game of a casino that serves as a probably and quite guaranteed DLC in the future, or why would they have the area present and not just have nothing there. Image (watermarked for stealing) is below. Concept art from CDPR
Roleplaying jobs reflecting careers for f.ex : Corp, trauma, nomad and police. Mostly referring to the generated quests mentioned above in design.
While I wont say what the endings are; some did not enjoy it. I would love some small continuation. But then I realise, what if that is one of he awesome expansions comings.
Boats.....
More cats, I want to be the crazy cat lady at floor 89.
Meaningful items or more memorabilia from the adventure to add to the apartment,
Arcade machines ( probably also coming)
And lastly... remember... Online is coming. We have a hell of a lot of constructive response to give to the developers. Show them what you want, not a soulless hate.
Comment adds:
Jaomaldito : To me the only thing I was expecting alot before the game came out was the implants, you see so many cool npcs with cybernetic arms and legs, you see those in the previews and I was like: "I cant wait to make my merc look more like a machine than human".

------------------------------
And as said before :
You can report any and all bugs here, help the developers bringing the most repeating problems up into prioritising here = https://support.cdprojektred.com/en/
You also have the official forums; who supply known issues, solutions and information in their different subjects both technical and ingame . https://forums.cdprojektred.com/
Here is the concept art next to the area outside the town. No reason to have this present, unless there is a plan for it in the future.

https://preview.redd.it/c4rvtuc5r2a61.jpg?width=822&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=112206a9e05659f81a27ab0fce3ac31bf0625b22
submitted by Elio8Twitch to LowSodiumCyberpunk [link] [comments]

Looking back on a year of Nano development - Presented by NanoLinks

I think this list speaks for itself. Thank you for this year Nano community and see you in 2021 for even more fun! We are only getting started 🚀


u/iB0mmel
submitted by Joohansson to nanocurrency [link] [comments]

20 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games.
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Price will contain the U.S. PlayStation Store link to the game.
1. Hayfever
2. Valfaris
3. Four Sided Fantasy
4. Bleep Bloop
5. Horizon Shift ‘81
6. Daggerhood
7. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
8. Ultra Hat Dimension
9. Remothered: Tormented Fathers
10. Reverie
11. Inertial Drift
12. Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX)
13. Pato Box
14. The Count Lucanor
15. The Bunker
16. A Tale of Paper
17. Late Shift
18. SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
19. Verlet Swing
20. Neon Drive
Conclusion
My top 5 on the list in order would be the following: (1.) Hayfever, (2.) Valfaris, (3.) Cursed Castilla: (Maldita Castilla EX), (4.) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and (5.) Bleep Bloop.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to PS5 [link] [comments]

Another 10 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

There are also some links within the first link that discuss indie local multiplayer games as well.
Introduction
We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games once again.
Details About the List
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Steam is the only one on the list with all 10 games featured (Steam has 10 of them, Switch has 9 of them, PlayStation 4 has 7 of them, and Xbox One has 5 of them), but the Switch gets more reviews than the other platforms, so I will it use the Switch version of all the games for their review scores, except #8, where I will use the Steam version, since that’s the only version of it available. The two bottom games have pretty low critic ratings (60% with 1 Critic Review and 53% with 2 Critic Reviews). I personally disagree with the low scores of these two games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Currently 9 of the games are on sale on Steam right now, and 5 of them are on sale on Switch. None of them are on sale on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One at the moment.
For the purpose of this post, I’m just going to stick with saying “achievements” and “getting all achievements” instead of “trophies” and “platinum trophy” since Steam has all 10 games on the list. You can basically substitute these with “trophies” and “platinum trophy” if you’re a PlayStation gamer. I will make mention of the two games on here that don’t include a platinum trophy however.
Platforms will include a link to the U.S. store page of the game for each platform. Price is in U.S. dollars.
1. Ultra Hat Dimension
2. Bot Vice
3. Valfaris
4. Inertial Drift
5. Golf Peaks
6. Horizon Shift ‘81
7. Pato Box
8. Primal Light
9. Tamashii
10. Neon Drive
Special shoutout to Valfaris which is my favorite game on the list and, again, one my favorite 2D run & guns ever.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
submitted by Underwhere_Overthere to Games [link] [comments]

I am 36 years old, make $66,900, live in Portland OR and work as a Data Coordinator.

Section Zero: Background
Hello all, happy hoildays! I stumbled upon this subreddit not long ago and have enjoyed the commentary and experiences everyone's shared. Wanted to add another perspective from a mid-30s first-gen American. I've had some missteps regarding careers and finances, but I feel like I'm in a slightly better place now. I tried YNAB in the past but I wasn't consistent enough with it. These days I use Mint to monitor my finances and have a "Finance Friday" each month to review all my accounts and spending. I currently live with my partner TJ and his dog RR. We do not combine finances, but he has been unemployed since March. I have helped him with some bills and basic necessities here and there until he finds his next job or career.
My current financial goals are to just maintain a status quo and not get any debt until pandemic times are over. Then I will focus on a house remodeling fund and savings for taking care of my parents.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? My parents taught us about money from a frugal perspective. They are immigrants who worked in food service/factories. There was always this “save save save” mentality. Even when they started their own small business, we saved like there was no tomorrow. In high school, my calculus teacher bought us all “The Millionaire Next Door” book and had us read it as an assignment - that was my first structured introduction to finances.
Did you worry about money growing up? No, there was always food on the table and a roof over our heads. I knew that our extended family would support us if needed.
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? Yes. My dad didn’t finish the high school-equivalent in their country, while my mom did finish high school, but no college. My older and younger siblings took a different path in life after high school. I am the first and only in my family to graduate from college. My parents covered all tuition for my two bachelor degrees with the agreement that I support them fully during their retirement and send them gifts/extra money whenever I can. I feel very lucky and privileged that they were able to provide that education for me.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? 24 when I went on a work holiday abroad. My family was always available to help when needed, but the experience abroad helped me stand on my own feet. As an adult, I also inherited that “save” mentality and put a lot of my earnings towards savings. I didn’t date until my 30s, lived frugally, didn’t go out to eat/hangout with people, shopped thrift stores, and had very few hobbies. I am starting to “live a little” now though.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? Aside from the tuition, my parents have helped with a down payment for my first house and living costs during periods of unemployment.

Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance
If the place I was working at offered a 401k, I would always contribute up to the company match. I started my IRA in my mid-20s and would try to contribute the yearly max. I've stopped that the past 2-3 years though. My Other Brokerage is some play money, but I got tired of staring it and switched to index funds. I haven't contributed anything to it in a few years.
Equity if you're a homeowner
Purchased my first home for $382,000 with 20% down, right before lockdown earlier this year. Perfect timing, right?? I plan to live here until my retirement. My parents contributed $15k while I used most of my savings for the rest.
Savings account balance: $3,073
Checking account balance: $7,800
Credit card debt: I charge everything on my credit card for the points, then pay it off each month using my checking account balance.
Student loan debt: Traditionally no student loan debt as mentioned in Section Zero.

Section Two: Income
Income Progression (listed as gross income with cost of living area):
High School
College and first “career” job
Mental health break
College (again) and second “career” job
Third “career” jobs

Main Job Monthly Take Home:
Monthly Net (paid bi-weekly): $2,758
Deductions:
Side Gig Monthly Take Home:
No side gigs at the moment, but I am thinking of signing up on Upwork.com and doing Excel/data entry projects to help pay the mortgage.
Other Income: TJ’s friend will be staying with us for a month in January, who will pay rent of $800 including utilities. Depending on how that goes, we may take on a roommate in the spare bedroom long-term.

Section Three: Expenses
Mortgage - when I bought the house, the plan was that I would charge TJ a portion of the mortgage costs as “rent”, but since his unemployment I am now covering it all myself.
Regular Monthly Payment: $1677.57
HOA: $30/year
Retirement contribution: Nothing additional than what's been mentioned.
Savings contribution: I used to do $50-100/month, but since COVID I’ve stopped contributing to my savings account.
Investment contribution: None at this time.
Debt payments: $100/month towards TJ's credit card balance of $2,307.
Donations: $10-20/month, usually towards Omaze or Planned Parenthood.
Utilities:
Cellphone: On my parents plan.
Subscriptions:
Gym membership: Pre-COVID I did Orangetheory for a year. I started to pick up free exercise equipment from Craigslist this year, so we have a small garage gym now and utilize YouTube exercise videos instead.
Pet expenses: $10/month. TJ has stockpiled some Costco canned dog food before unemployment, but once that runs out I will likely cover the costs. We also started to make homemade dog food to help supplement.
Car insurance: $460 every 6 months. Car is paid off.
Regular therapy: I will start in the new year. Not sure what the costs are yet, but I will use my HSA to pay.
Vitamins/Medications: $20/month
Groceries & household items: $75/month
Miscellaneous (eating out, house purchases, gifts, etc): $100/month

Section Four: Money Diary
Monday
6:30am Neighbor starts up their truck. We joke that it's our natural alarm clock. They idle for about 15 minutes before heading off. I go back to bed.
9am My real alarm goes off. I put the electric kettle on for some morning tea. While it's boiling, I do my morning routine: drink glass of water, take synthroid, use bathroom, brush teeth, quick shower. I then make tea - Jasmine Pearl English Breakfast with dark forest mix. I started ordering loose leaf tea in large amounts back in March instead of small bags or single serving packets. Seems more economical since I drink it daily. I let the dog out into the backyard so he can do his morning routine.
9:30am I go through my daily tasks for work. They entail checking processes and reports to make sure they ran successfully overnight. I then answer some emails and catch-up on Slack channels.
12pm Lunch is leftover roast chicken and quinoa from Saturday. I heat it up in the instant pot. Love that thing! Almost every meal of ours involves the instant pot. We hardly use the stovetop. We then walk the dog to the business park across from our neighborhood. There's a very short trail that runs along a drainage creek by the business park. It's quite muddy, but has a nice woodsy feeling. Over the summer, we saw sumac trees there as well. Free sumac spice!
1:30pm Department meeting on Zoom. Our director announces his resignation on the call. Everyone is shocked! Layoffs were announced for next year but this was not a part of it. I think it's a good move for him and he doesn't have to have this worry of layoffs over his head.
3pm I meet with an engineer from another team and talk about a data source they are in charge of. He helps me out in understanding it and we identify most of the fields that I need for a project I’m starting.
5:30pm I check in with my partner. He's been watching LinkedIn tutorials on internal recruiting, job coaching and general computeoffice skills. It's a career change that he wants to make - something where he can talk to and help people. He doesn't have a bachelor's, only an associates, and hopes these tutorials will get him a leg up in the job search. I sent him some entry level HR admin roles the other day and remind him to apply. I then heat up leftovers: homemade chana masala and rice. I add some butter and coconut milk to thin it out, so there's enough for both of us.
10:30pm I take some magnesium, vitamin D and Airborne. I say goodnight to the dog who sleeps in the office. Then I say goodnight to TJ. He sleeps in the spare bedroom on weeknights due to his snoring keeping me up. I'm a light sleeper while he is a pretty deep sleeper.
Daily total: $0
Tuesday
9am I check Reddit Secret Santa. My match seems like a really good person. Not sure what to get, but most likely will purchase something off their wishlist. I wish I was more creative with my gift giving.
11am Meeting with business stakeholder. She submitted a few changes to an existing data process about a month ago. I make the change while on the call and have her test. Success! Marking it off the todo list. I love when we can finish things directly on a call.
12:30pm I come out of my office to make lunch. I notice my partner is not home. I check my messages and see that he's stepped out to pick up a few things. I ask for celery, carrots, and kombucha. $17. I make a quick charcuterie board for lunch: Costco salami, cheese, homemade hummus and Triscuits. It's a simple, fast meal that’s always in our rotation.
2pm My partner is back and we take the dog out for a walk and quick round of disc golf at a nearby park. We mask up and play only a few holes. Disc golf is a pretty frugal activity, you only need 2-3 discs to get started. TJ remarks that my throws are getting better, but then again they weren't great to start with. We talk about Christmas/Birthday gifts on the way back home since he was born on New Years Day. He mentioned snowshoeing but asked to not spend that much. I'll do some research!
5pm I think about personal career projects. Should I put up a portfolio of projects somewhere? I decide to try and pull some Yelp data. There’s not a lot of data points that I was interested in. Regardless, I tinker with it for an hour. TJ asks if I'm hungry. I said not so much, but felt thirsty. Maybe some ginger soup tonight?
7:30pm Dinner is served - ginger carrot soup made in the instant pot. We eat some rice crackers with it. Lately I feel like we've been eating more vegetarian dinners. It definitely helps stretch our food budget. We end the evening by finishing Fargo season 3 on Hulu.
Daily total: $17
Wednesday
1:30am I'm woken up by the dog. He's been sneezing a lot and wheezes at random intervals. TJ doesn't have the money for a vet visit but I've offered to pay as long as he calls to make the appointment. I give the dog some coconut oil, rub his belly until he seems better and go back to bed.
7am Garbage day. We usually put it out the night before but I forgot. I get up to go, but TJ handles it. I think, at least. I'm too sleepy to pay attention and go back to bed.
9am I wake up and rinse some dishes that have piled up and put them into the dishwasher. We both grew up in households that had a home dishwasher, but forbade from using it. It was drilled into us that hand washing saves more water, unless you had a restaurant/industrial dishwasher. I think with modern home dishwashers, that's changed, so I wanted to try it out with our dishwasher and monitor the water bill. Don't have any dishwashing pods or powder, so I put some OxiClean in it.
12:30pm I overhear TJ on a call with a recruiting agency. It seems to be going well, lots of laughing. I heat up some taco lasagna that I freezer meal-prepped last month.
2pm Collaborate on a project at work with an engineer. My manager put me on this project since I was asking for an assignment on a more technical team. I'm learning tidbits here and there, but I don't feel like it's structured enough.
5pm I do an Orangetheory-At-Home workout and try to break a sweat. It's not the same as going to their studio.
6pm Charcuterie for dinner. Our fridge is full of store-bought and homemade pickles that go super well on a charcuterie board.
Daily total: $0
Thursday
7am I wake up tired. The house has been feeling more cold, which woke me up a few times. We keep the temp at 72F during the day, at night around 68F since we thought the bedrooms keep the heat in pretty well. My mistake!
9am I do my usual morning routine and login to work. My team mostly spends the morning sending each other emojis.
11:30am Lunch today is mini quiche, frozen chicken and veggie entree, and hot dogs. Not the most cohesive meal, but it fills the belly.
12:30pm TJ heads out to his mailbox that's 30 minutes away. He is still waiting on his tax return and a 401k withdrawal. His taxes had to be filed by mail for some reason, then the IRS office shut down due to COVID. So he wanted to see if it arrived yet at the mailbox. He also takes the dog to the vet's urgent care on his way. They didn't have any regular openings available until the end of the year, and the dog seemed to be getting worse. I give TJ $40 to mail a gift package to a friend in France and also reiterate that I'll cover the vet bill when he gets it.
4:30pm I pay some bills, my favorite activity (not)! Sewer bill: $59.44 (billed every 2 months). Geico bill: $459.60 billed every 6 months. Then I follow up with my mortgage officer over email. I had sent her some documents for a refinance quote last week, but haven't heard back. Rates keep dropping, so I'm told, but what does that really mean? I do some research on realestate.
5pm TJ messages me and says he'll be back for dinner. I ask him to pick up some Popeyes via drive thru since we both don't feel like cooking today. Popeyes is currently our fancy “going out to eat” food. $24.17 for a 4pc dinner meal and a 2pc dinner meal.
Daily total: $583.21
Friday
8:30am Busy morning at work. My phone is buzzing with emails and Slack messages. I try to answer them while I make tea.
10am Zoom Department happy hour. We reminisce about our director and then play those Jackbox party games. Some of them are hard!
11am TJ asks if he can make me anything for lunch. He suggests savory oatmeal, quick and easy. I tell him that I really appreciate him making meals/doing chores/etc without me prompting. We've been having conversations about "house project management" and mental load because I did most of the chores or I had to continually remind/tell him to do it. I'm really happy to see us progress on this front. I decide to work through my lunch break so I can end the day early. I don't often do that, but I'm ready to get the weekend started.
2pm I check on TJ in the spare bedroom and ask if the dog has been fed yet, since he was nipping at my feet. I notice something off about TJ and ask how he is doing. TJ is depressed about his personal life, career, finances. He doesn't know what to do, spends half the day meditating and reflecting on past trauma. I've been prodding him to get a therapist but he is confused about his insurance. He makes an appointment with a primary care doctor first. I feed the dog some homemade dog-friendly beef stew.
4pm My mom swings by the house (but doesn't enter). She currently works at a school who distributes free USDA food boxes since March. There's often many boxes leftover that would go to waste, so she will grab a box for us. Onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, eggs, cheese, butter, frozen veggies and frozen chicken. She also brought her vintage pasta maker. I asked last week if she ever used it these days and her reply was “no, feel free to have it”. I love pasta and noodles and figure it would be great to make it ourselves as a frugal hobby.
8pm We catch up on Mandalorian and watch silly Youtube videos before heading off to bed.
Daily total: $0
Saturday
9am I open up my web browser and look at Craigslist and NextDoor for free stuff. I've been scouring for free landscape rocks, pegboards, and wood for house projects. I had this grand ambition to redesign our backyard. It faces our neighbor and currently the fence is pretty low. They can see into our kitchen and bedroom and we can see them. But y'know, COVID and going from dual income house to single income means it all has to be put on hold. So I've been looking for free items in the meantime. Over the past months, I've gotten planter pots, plant cuttings, a raised bed, stepping stones, all from free listings. I don't see anything worthwhile so I go and make some tea.
11am I look at Amazon and make some purchases for Reddit Secret Santa. A foodie kit, DVD of their favorite movie, and some cute pens for their writing hobby. $54. I hope they like it!
12pm TJ heats up leftover stir-fry for lunch for us. I put on some Binging with Babish and we watch how to make pasta. We have a plan - TJ makes the pasta, I make the sauce. Perfect date night activity at home. We watch some more videos on pasta and noodles to educate ourselves.
4pm I start prepping veggies. Big batch of onions, canned tomatoes, ground beef and butter in the instant pot. Meanwhile, TJ works on the pasta by following Babish's instructions.
7pm We gorge on fresh made pasta and bolognese sauce. It's so good! We end up watching Fargo.
11pm Usually I'll be in bed by now, but it's a Saturday and not tired yet (probably because of all that pasta). We play some Kirby's Dream Course on the Switch.
Daily total: $54
Sunday
10am Quick walk around the neighborhood with the dog. He's on a new routine now with the medicine he's taking. It seems to be helping his breathing issues.
11am The pasta maker and flour is still out since we didn't clean up yesterday. There's some old pie crust in the fridge so I roll it out with the pasta machine for mini quiches. (Sally's Baking Addiction blog is my go-to place for her all-butter crust and quiche recipes btw). TJ helps by mixing up the eggs.
3pm I play some Genshin Impact (GI) on my phone while TJ plays Starcraft in the office. I don't usually play gacha games, but the Zelda BotW-style of GI appealed to me. A gacha game is a game with randomized characteitem boxes that you use real-money to purchase a “pull” or to spin the wheel. I know the gacha parts of the game can be a real money sink if you get addicted to them, it’s almost like gambling. My main team is Fischl, Bennett, Barbara and Noelle. I level up to AR 22 and look up free-to-play tutorials for the game.
6pm There's some leftover pasta from yesterday, enough for both of us. I throw in some roasted beets to round out the meal. We watch more Fargo while eating. Almost done with Season 3!
10pm I find a tour operator who offers a small, socially-distant snowshoeing tour up on the mountain. I reserve for two people - this will be TJ's Christmas/birthday gift. $75. Off to bed for another workday.
Daily total: $75
Weekly Total: $689.79
Section Five: Reflections
Aside from the car insurance bill, this was a typical week for me, COVID or not. We make the majority of our meals at home and usually splurge on drive-thru/delivery once every other week. I may have overspent on the Secret Santa gift, but I don't often give gifts out to friends. It's not something our family does either. For TJ’s Christmas/birthday gift, we usually talk upfront about costs. I’ve gifted him fancy restaurant experiences the past 2 years, since we can share that experience, but obviously can’t do that now. Snowshoeing is a nice change of pace.
The conversations with TJ this week have given me thought on how to approach him differently about finances and working together in a relationship. I’m still unsure about the future financially, particularly as my parents near retirement age and that TJ has pulled out his 401k to pay his debts. I don't know if I can support both my parents and TJ together, so I am finding ways to upskill and/or side hustles without becoming a workaholic or bogged down by stress.
Writing this money diary was also the first time where I really paid attention to my past income and current income. I might be contributing too much into ESPP that could go towards the 401k or mortgage instead? I also seem to have been underpaid for what I did in past jobs, even in a LCOL area.
submitted by throwaway_md_182481 to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]

DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) - Deep Dive Research - Part 1

TL:DR
Hello, welcome to my first deep dive write up.
My name’s Mark and I’m an accountant with a passion for investing. About two years ago, I used to work as an auditor at a public accounting firm and have been behind the scenes at many different publicly traded and privately held companies in the U.S. My goal is to bring my unique perspective from that past experience, my current experience working in a new role at a large corporation, and my understanding of accounting to help break down some of the most exciting growth stocks on the market today.
I’m a long-term investor. I am focused on finding great companies and holding them for a long time. I’m willing to endure volatility, crazy price drops, and everything that comes with this approach as long as the facts that led me to originally invest and believe in that company have not changed. If you want to learn more about this approach. I recommend reading the book “100 Baggers” by Chris Mayer.
Introduction
I think it’s fitting that my first stock pick has to do with sports. Sports has been a part of my life since I could walk at the age of 2. First with baseball and soccer, and then later in my childhood with golf. I’ve always played American football and basketball for fun as well and have always been an avid fan of all the major sports in the US.
I started playing fantasy sports (mostly just fantasy football) about 6 years ago and have always enjoyed it. Traditionally, with fantasy football you draft a team at the beginning of the year and those are your players for the rest of the season. If you have a bad draft, oh well. You can try to improve your team with trades and free agent additions but it is tough. Leagues usually consist of 10-14 teams (each managed by an individual) and there’s obviously only one winner at the end of the season (about 4 months after the draft). This can lead to the managers of the lower performing teams losing interest as the season wanes on. I believe DraftKings’ (DK) founders saw this issue and saw an opportunity. Enter, daily fantasy sports. Now, with the DK platform you can draft a new team every week. Or if you want, every day. This allows fans of fantasy sports to engage at whichever point of the season they want and at varying financial stakes.
The Thesis Statement
For every stock pick I make, I want to provide a quick thesis statement that can serve as a reminder for why I’m buying and holding that stock for the long term. I’ll always aim to make it just a few sentences long so it can easily be remembered and internalized. This helps during times when the price may sporadically drop and you need to remember why you’re holding this position.
The thesis statement I have come up with for DK is as follows:
“DraftKings: The leader in allowing fans to engage financially with their favorite sports, teams, and players. Having money at stake makes the game a lot more interesting to watch. The era of daily fantasy sports games, online sports betting, and online betting (outside of sports), is just getting started and DK is as well positioned (or better positioned) than anyone to capitalize off of this trend.”
Notice how I said “allowing fans to engage financially” as the first sentence and not necessarily “allowing fans to gamble”. There’s a reason for that. According to US Federal Law, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests have specifically been exempted from the prohibitions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). DK has always been, and I believe will continue to be DFS contests 1st, sports betting 2nd, and other forms of gambling/entertainment 3rd. It is noteworthy that states at an individual level can still deem DFS contests illegal if they so wish, but as of this writing (11/26/20), 43 of the 50 US States allow DFS contests and DK, accordingly, is offering DFS contests in all 43 of those US States.
I’ll try to clarify the difference between DFS contests and sports betting real quick:
DFS Contest – Pay a pre-set entry fee to enter a contest. All entry fees go towards “The Pot”. “Draft” 9 players to be on your “Team” for 1 week. Enter your “Roster” into a contest with other players (could range from 1 other person to 1,000s of people, the DK user can choose). Whichever “Roster” amasses the most points for that week out of all contestants wins. The winner will get the highest payout, and depending on the nature of the contest, other top finishers will receive smaller payouts as well.
Sports Gambling – Team A is considered a 10 point favorite to defeat Team B. This means that Team A is expected, by the professional gambling line setters, to outscore Team B by 10 points. This is known as a point spread. You can bet on the underdog or the favorite. If you bet on the favorite, they have to win by more than 10 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on the underdog, you will win the bet as long as the underdog keeps the game within less than a 10 point defeat.
These are just a couple simple examples to help you see the difference. Sports Gambling (the 2nd priority of DK) is a very lucrative market just as the DFS contests are. However, in the US, Federal Laws and regulations are a lot stricter on Sports Gambling than they are on DFS. As of this writing (11/27/20), 22 states (including the District of Columbia) out of 51 possible allow sports gambling.
DK is still in the infancy stages of getting their sports gambling business going. In the 22 states where they could potentially operate, they currently have a sports gambling offering in 11 of those states. The sports gambling business model for DK can be broken into two main offerings – mobile sports betting, and retail sports betting. Mobile sports betting means you can place a sports bet online from the comfort of your own home, while retail sports betting means you must go to a casino and place a bet with the sportsbook in person. I personally believe mobile sports betting is the real potential cash cow for DK out of the two types of sports betting offerings due to the convenience and ease of access. DK is currently working on and encouraging customers to lobby their state lawmakers to legalize sports gambling in more states.
How DK makes money
At the very least, before you invest in a company, you better understand how they make money. In Chris Mayers’ excellent book, 100 Baggers, that I mentioned above, he continually references top line revenue growth as one of the main common indicators of a possible 100 Bagger. This isn’t to tell you that any stock I pick will be a 100 Bagger just because it has great top line revenue growth, but if I am looking at a growth stock to hold for the long term, revenue growth is one of the first things I look at.
For DK, their means of making money is quite simple. I already went into detail above about DFS Contests and Sports Gambling. In DK’s latest 10-Q filing with the SEC (filed 11/13/20), revenue is broken out into two main streams: Online Gaming and Gaming Software.
Online Gaming (82% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
Online gaming is the true core business of DK and includes the aforementioned DFS Contests, Sports Gambling and additional gambling (non-sports) opportunities. DK refers to their additional gambling (non-sports) as “iGaming” or “online casino”.
For the 9 months ended 9/30/20, Online Gaming revenue totaled $239M, up 30% YoY from $184M in the same prior year period. Keep in mind, that this is an increase that happened during a COVID-19 global pandemic that delayed and shortened many professional sports seasons.
Online gaming revenue is earned in a few ways that are slightly different, but very similar overall. In order to enter a DFS contest, a customer must pay an entry fee. DFS revenue is generated from these entry fees collected, net of prize payouts and customer incentives awarded to users. In order to place a sports bet (sports gambling), a customer places a wager with a DK Sportsbook. The DK Sportsbook sets odds for each wager that builds in a theoretical margin allowing DK to profit. Sports gambling revenue is generated from wagers collected from customers, net of payouts and incentives awarded to winning customers. The last form of online gaming revenue is earned in similar fashion to a land-based casino, offering online versions of casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.
Gaming Software (18% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
While the Online Gaming revenue stream mentioned above is a Business to Consumer (B2C) model, the Gaming Software revenue stream is a Business to Business (B2B) model. The Gaming Software side of the business was born out of the acquisition of SBTech, a company from the Isle of Man (near the UK) founded in 2007 that has 12+ years of experience providing online sports betting platforms to clients all over the world. The acquisition occurred as part of the SPAC driven IPO in April of 2020 that combined “the old DK company” with SBTech so that they now are “the new DK company” listed as DKNG on the NASDAQ. SBTech is a far more important part of the story than just being 18% of today’s revenue. The reason for this is because DK will eventually (planned mid-late 2021) be migrating all of their DFS and gambling offerings onto SBTech’s online platforms. Currently, for DFS, DK uses their own proprietary platform but that will move to SBTech with the migration. Currently, for online gambling, DK uses Kambi, the same online gambling platform that services Penn Gaming (PENN), a DK rival. But that’s enough about the software migration for now, back to the Gaming Software revenue.
The Gaming Software revenue stream for DK is essentially a continuation of SBTechs’ B2B business model. DK contracts with business customers to provide sports and casino betting software solutions. DK typically enters two different type of arrangements with B2B customers when selling the gaming software:
  1. Direct Customer Contract Revenue: In this type of transaction, the software is sold directly to a business (casino for example) that wants to use the software for their own gambling operations. This revenue is generally calculated as a percentage of the wagering revenue generated by the business customer using DK’s software and is recognized in the periods in which those wagering and related activities conclude.
  2. Reseller Arrangement Revenue: In this type of transaction, DK provides distributors with the right to resell DK’s software-as-a-service offering to their clients, using their own infrastructure. In reseller arrangements, revenue is generally calculated via a fixed monthly fee and an additional monthly fee which varies based on the number of gaming operators to whom each reseller sub-licenses DK’s software.
As mentioned above, SBTech was an international company based in the Isle of Man before being acquired by DK. Thus, the majority of their business in their first 12 years of operating independently has always been international and outside of the United States. This has helped DK, which has historically been US focused, expand it’s international reach.
A perfect example of expanding this international reach occurred recently during October (technically Q4) in which DK’s B2B technology (powered by SBTech) helped enable the launch of “PalaceBet”, a new mobile and online sportsbook offering from Peermont, a South Africa based resort and casino company. The deal was headed by DK’s new Chief International Officer, Shay Berka, who previously spent 10 years working for SBTech as CFO and General Manager. Mr. Berka took on the role of DK’s Chief International Officer upon the merger in April earlier this year. I think this deal shows that DK has integrated SBTech and it’s business very well into the larger business as a whole. They are not wasting any time using their newly acquired resources to expand their reach and bring in new sources of revenue.
This is the end of my first article about DK. My goal is to drop Part 2 later this week. The focus of Part 2 will be an in depth answer of the question – “Can we 10x from here?”
Disclosure: I am/we are long DKNG. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
submitted by Historical-Comment36 to SecurityAnalysis [link] [comments]

DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) - Deep Dive Research - Part 1

TL:DR
Hello, welcome to my first deep dive write up.
My name’s Mark and I’m an accountant with a passion for investing. About two years ago, I used to work as an auditor at a public accounting firm and have been behind the scenes at many different publicly traded and privately held companies in the U.S. My goal is to bring my unique perspective from that past experience, my current experience working in a new role at a large corporation, and my understanding of accounting to help break down some of the most exciting growth stocks on the market today.
I’m a long-term investor. I am focused on finding great companies and holding them for a long time. I’m willing to endure volatility, crazy price drops, and everything that comes with this approach as long as the facts that led me to originally invest and believe in that company have not changed. If you want to learn more about this approach. I recommend reading the book “100 Baggers” by Chris Mayer.
Introduction
I think it’s fitting that my first stock pick has to do with sports. Sports has been a part of my life since I could walk at the age of 2. First with baseball and soccer, and then later in my childhood with golf. I’ve always played American football and basketball for fun as well and have always been an avid fan of all the major sports in the US.
I started playing fantasy sports (mostly just fantasy football) about 6 years ago and have always enjoyed it. Traditionally, with fantasy football you draft a team at the beginning of the year and those are your players for the rest of the season. If you have a bad draft, oh well. You can try to improve your team with trades and free agent additions but it is tough. Leagues usually consist of 10-14 teams (each managed by an individual) and there’s obviously only one winner at the end of the season (about 4 months after the draft). This can lead to the managers of the lower performing teams losing interest as the season wanes on. I believe DraftKings’ (DK) founders saw this issue and saw an opportunity. Enter, daily fantasy sports. Now, with the DK platform you can draft a new team every week. Or if you want, every day. This allows fans of fantasy sports to engage at whichever point of the season they want and at varying financial stakes.
The Thesis Statement
For every stock pick I make, I want to provide a quick thesis statement that can serve as a reminder for why I’m buying and holding that stock for the long term. I’ll always aim to make it just a few sentences long so it can easily be remembered and internalized. This helps during times when the price may sporadically drop and you need to remember why you’re holding this position.
The thesis statement I have come up with for DK is as follows:
“DraftKings: The leader in allowing fans to engage financially with their favorite sports, teams, and players. Having money at stake makes the game a lot more interesting to watch. The era of daily fantasy sports games, online sports betting, and online betting (outside of sports), is just getting started and DK is as well positioned (or better positioned) than anyone to capitalize off of this trend.”
Notice how I said “allowing fans to engage financially” as the first sentence and not necessarily “allowing fans to gamble”. There’s a reason for that. According to US Federal Law, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests have specifically been exempted from the prohibitions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). DK has always been, and I believe will continue to be DFS contests 1st, sports betting 2nd, and other forms of gambling/entertainment 3rd. It is noteworthy that states at an individual level can still deem DFS contests illegal if they so wish, but as of this writing (11/26/20), 43 of the 50 US States allow DFS contests and DK, accordingly, is offering DFS contests in all 43 of those US States.
I’ll try to clarify the difference between DFS contests and sports betting real quick:
DFS Contest – Pay a pre-set entry fee to enter a contest. All entry fees go towards “The Pot”. “Draft” 9 players to be on your “Team” for 1 week. Enter your “Roster” into a contest with other players (could range from 1 other person to 1,000s of people, the DK user can choose). Whichever “Roster” amasses the most points for that week out of all contestants wins. The winner will get the highest payout, and depending on the nature of the contest, other top finishers will receive smaller payouts as well.
Sports Gambling – Team A is considered a 10 point favorite to defeat Team B. This means that Team A is expected, by the professional gambling line setters, to outscore Team B by 10 points. This is known as a point spread. You can bet on the underdog or the favorite. If you bet on the favorite, they have to win by more than 10 points for you to win the bet. If you bet on the underdog, you will win the bet as long as the underdog keeps the game within less than a 10 point defeat.
These are just a couple simple examples to help you see the difference. Sports Gambling (the 2nd priority of DK) is a very lucrative market just as the DFS contests are. However, in the US, Federal Laws and regulations are a lot stricter on Sports Gambling than they are on DFS. As of this writing (11/27/20), 22 states (including the District of Columbia) out of 51 possible allow sports gambling.
DK is still in the infancy stages of getting their sports gambling business going. In the 22 states where they could potentially operate, they currently have a sports gambling offering in 11 of those states. The sports gambling business model for DK can be broken into two main offerings – mobile sports betting, and retail sports betting. Mobile sports betting means you can place a sports bet online from the comfort of your own home, while retail sports betting means you must go to a casino and place a bet with the sportsbook in person. I personally believe mobile sports betting is the real potential cash cow for DK out of the two types of sports betting offerings due to the convenience and ease of access. DK is currently working on and encouraging customers to lobby their state lawmakers to legalize sports gambling in more states.
How DK makes money
At the very least, before you invest in a company, you better understand how they make money. In Chris Mayers’ excellent book, 100 Baggers, that I mentioned above, he continually references top line revenue growth as one of the main common indicators of a possible 100 Bagger. This isn’t to tell you that any stock I pick will be a 100 Bagger just because it has great top line revenue growth, but if I am looking at a growth stock to hold for the long term, revenue growth is one of the first things I look at.
For DK, their means of making money is quite simple. I already went into detail above about DFS Contests and Sports Gambling. In DK’s latest 10-Q filing with the SEC (filed 11/13/20), revenue is broken out into two main streams: Online Gaming and Gaming Software.
Online Gaming (82% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
Online gaming is the true core business of DK and includes the aforementioned DFS Contests, Sports Gambling and additional gambling (non-sports) opportunities. DK refers to their additional gambling (non-sports) as “iGaming” or “online casino”.
For the 9 months ended 9/30/20, Online Gaming revenue totaled $239M, up 30% YoY from $184M in the same prior year period. Keep in mind, that this is an increase that happened during a COVID-19 global pandemic that delayed and shortened many professional sports seasons.
Online gaming revenue is earned in a few ways that are slightly different, but very similar overall. In order to enter a DFS contest, a customer must pay an entry fee. DFS revenue is generated from these entry fees collected, net of prize payouts and customer incentives awarded to users. In order to place a sports bet (sports gambling), a customer places a wager with a DK Sportsbook. The DK Sportsbook sets odds for each wager that builds in a theoretical margin allowing DK to profit. Sports gambling revenue is generated from wagers collected from customers, net of payouts and incentives awarded to winning customers. The last form of online gaming revenue is earned in similar fashion to a land-based casino, offering online versions of casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.
Gaming Software (18% of Total Revenue for 9 months ended 9/30/20):
While the Online Gaming revenue stream mentioned above is a Business to Consumer (B2C) model, the Gaming Software revenue stream is a Business to Business (B2B) model. The Gaming Software side of the business was born out of the acquisition of SBTech, a company from the Isle of Man (near the UK) founded in 2007 that has 12+ years of experience providing online sports betting platforms to clients all over the world. The acquisition occurred as part of the SPAC driven IPO in April of 2020 that combined “the old DK company” with SBTech so that they now are “the new DK company” listed as DKNG on the NASDAQ. SBTech is a far more important part of the story than just being 18% of today’s revenue. The reason for this is because DK will eventually (planned mid-late 2021) be migrating all of their DFS and gambling offerings onto SBTech’s online platforms. Currently, for DFS, DK uses their own proprietary platform but that will move to SBTech with the migration. Currently, for online gambling, DK uses Kambi, the same online gambling platform that services Penn Gaming (PENN), a DK rival. But that’s enough about the software migration for now, back to the Gaming Software revenue.
The Gaming Software revenue stream for DK is essentially a continuation of SBTechs’ B2B business model. DK contracts with business customers to provide sports and casino betting software solutions. DK typically enters two different type of arrangements with B2B customers when selling the gaming software:

  1. Direct Customer Contract Revenue: In this type of transaction, the software is sold directly to a business (casino for example) that wants to use the software for their own gambling operations. This revenue is generally calculated as a percentage of the wagering revenue generated by the business customer using DK’s software and is recognized in the periods in which those wagering and related activities conclude.
  2. Reseller Arrangement Revenue: In this type of transaction, DK provides distributors with the right to resell DK’s software-as-a-service offering to their clients, using their own infrastructure. In reseller arrangements, revenue is generally calculated via a fixed monthly fee and an additional monthly fee which varies based on the number of gaming operators to whom each reseller sub-licenses DK’s software.
As mentioned above, SBTech was an international company based in the Isle of Man before being acquired by DK. Thus, the majority of their business in their first 12 years of operating independently has always been international and outside of the United States. This has helped DK, which has historically been US focused, expand it’s international reach.
A perfect example of expanding this international reach occurred recently during October (technically Q4) in which DK’s B2B technology (powered by SBTech) helped enable the launch of “PalaceBet”, a new mobile and online sportsbook offering from Peermont, a South Africa based resort and casino company. The deal was headed by DK’s new Chief International Officer, Shay Berka, who previously spent 10 years working for SBTech as CFO and General Manager. Mr. Berka took on the role of DK’s Chief International Officer upon the merger in April earlier this year. I think this deal shows that DK has integrated SBTech and it’s business very well into the larger business as a whole. They are not wasting any time using their newly acquired resources to expand their reach and bring in new sources of revenue.
This is the end of my first article about DK. My goal is to drop Part 2 later this week. The focus of Part 2 will be an in depth answer of the question – “Can we 10x from here?”
Disclosure: I am/we are long DKNG. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
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