Daily Fantasy Sports Operators Adopt Opposing Tactics To Combat Legal Issues
As we look back on 2015, one of the biggest stories in the gaming world is undoubtedly the ongoing crisis in the daily fantasy sports market. At the beginning of the year not too many people would have predicted such a massive attack on the DFS sector from all sides.
As we have covered in detail, many believe that the exceptionally high profile marketing campaigns that both DraftKings and FanDuel embarked on in the last few years resulted in them being overexposed and gaining unwanted attention form those looking at their phenomenal success. As it stands now all investments and funding seem to be on hold until the legal dust settles and there is nationwide clarity as to whether DFS is considered gambling or a game of skill which is excluded.
A piece in the Associated Press covers the various approaches of the big and small DFS operators amidst the current crisis. The main players in the sector DraftKings and FanDuel have made a stand to fight any attempts to bring down their empires and are fighting back to defend their case in the court. Yahoo of course with its size and resources are playing it carefully and are staying away from offering their DFS product in states which ban this like Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington.
They have also opted for caution by staying out of Florida where a federal grand jury is deciding if DFS violates federal law. Even in their public statements Yahoo have been very quiet and simply said in a statement that they believe their product is a “lawful product”.
CBS Sports which has its season long daily fantasy competition for real prizes has also decided to adopt the wait and see approach. Their daily fantasy sports product SportsLine brand was rolled out midway through the MLB season but was not continued for the NFL season as was expected.
The other newcomer to DFS is Amaya with their StarsDraft. As one would expect the last thing Amaya are looking to do is to jeopardize their newly founded status in the U.S. after being persona non grate for so many years. Their DFS offering is available only in Massachusetts, Kansas, New Jersey and Maryland. They are treading lightly and have been vocal in their calls for a regulated DFS sector. The irony of the once bad boys playing it squeaky clean is hard to ignore here.
DraftKings decision to expand into other markets like the UK seems now a wise decision as they may well have to focus their efforts on markets which are more user friendly to daily fantasy sports. UK based daily fantasy sports companies like Mondogoal who focus heavily on football have stated that they may pullout entirely from the U.S. until the legal status is clarified.