The new booming entertainment for sports fans has been daily fantasy. Daily fantasy, lead by industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, is a game users can play everyday by simply setting a lineup with players who are playing that day with a salary cap and compete against other users different player combinations. The entries cost money and users who put together lineups that produce the most points ultimately win money. Now is this gambling?
Daily Fantasy had been operating for the past few years across the United States with an exception of a few states but once a DraftKings employee won $350,000 while playing on FanDuel, people began to speculate if the DraftKings had an unfair advantage. There is data within each site that allows you to know what percentage a player is being selected in a set game or tournament. While the data varies from game to game, it still is fairly consistent. That said, could an employee from one site play on another having a better idea of what good players are not being selected?
The DraftKings employee was proven innocent of any cheating but the scandal has since left a sour taste in the daily fantasy industry, especially Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York. Eric Schneiderman called to have daily fantasy halted in New York claiming it’s a form of gambling. This has both FanDuel and DraftKings up in arms and fighting the ruling. While the two sites originally planned to allow players play through, FanDuel recently temporarily banned play in New York for it’s users. DraftKings has hired David Boies as their attorney during this legal process.
Boies is a great hire having had one of the most prolific history in law. He’s represented the NBA Players Association during the 2011 lockout season, Napster during their infringement days, George Steinbrenner when he was suing MLB and even Al Gore in Bush v. Gore to name a few of his cases. Boies is confident he can turn things around for DraftKings. How long will this take?
Not many know but it should be interesting to see it play out.