Fantasy Sports Sites Facing Gamble

If you’ve watched any sporting event (or any televised production, really) in the past six months, you know about DraftKings and Fan Duel.

For those living under a rock, DraftKings and Fan Duel are online daily fantasy sports sites that have basically taken over the commercial airwaves with their super-aggressive advertising. DraftKings, after entering an ad agreement with ESPN to “integrate” the brand with ESPN content, has had its logo plastered everywhere. The two sites have spent a combined $205.9 million on ads alone.

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In more recent news, the two are gearing up for an intense legal battle with New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after he stated that the activities on the sites were considered gambling, and therefore illegal in the state.

In light of this, DraftKings has asked their partner companies to let them pull back a bit. For instance, DraftKings asked their NBA partners to defer about 10 percent of its committed payments, and asked for their logos and banners in several arenas to be shown less on television. Fan Duel has also decreased its spending on TV ads, although they declined to comment.

Are the two sites lowering their profile in the face of a harsh legal showdown? Or maybe attempting to conserve cash for the costly legal fees? What would be the best course of action for the two sites to take?

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3 Responses to Fantasy Sports Sites Facing Gamble

  1. Connor Johnson says:

    Although I am as sick of the Draft Kings and Fan Duel advertisements as everyone else, I am very interested in following the coming legal proceedings. With the current federal investigation that is ongoing added on to the state of New York legal battle these websites are facing, I can’t help but feel that a fiery crash and burn situation is about to occur.

    However, there are specific laws in many states that allow fantasy football leagues with cash prizes to skirt gambling laws. New York is one of those states, which will make the legal battle that much more interesting.

  2. Riannon Maki says:

    Gambling is such a complex issue. Gambling falls into skill and chance. Fantasy sports betting usually falls into skill, one can argue that but that’s where it stands. The State of Arizona is one of five states that does not allow fantasy gaming. These two types of fantasy gaming are different than being in a season long league. You can join ESPN Fantasy Leagues without putting any money down. I think that the two groups are pulling back in the face of the legal suits. I think that taking their face out of the games is good idea. I do think that if they have followed the laws laid out than they have nothing to worry about.

  3. Matthew Covert says:

    I think that they were always questionably ethical. I knew the legal reasons why they are allowed to exist because I am an active news consumer. My family plays fantasy sports, some of my friends do but I never do. I recognize that my knowledge of sports is not vast enough to understand what makes a good fantasy team.
    My concern with Draft Kings and Fan Duel is that they are not serving exclusively the hardcore fantasy sports contestants, they are serving everday people who might forget about one player and lose $50 bucks.
    It is gambling and instead of fighting it, Fan Duel and Draft Kings should embrace it and make online sports gambling legal. If they believe what their doing is right then they would welcome a change in the law. Yet if they keep denying their identity then they will be made a thing of the past.

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