Handle for 12 months ending in August came in at $3.2 billion
Legal Sports Report

How Much Money Did DraftKings, FanDuel And The DFS Industry Make In The Past Year? Now We Know Almost Exactly

DFS revenue draftkings fanduel
$327,326,945.

That’s how much revenue the daily fantasy sports industry in made in the past year, starting in September of 2016 and ending in August of this year, the vast majority of it by DraftKings and FanDuel.

The figure is according to data obtained by Legal Sports Report from a freedom of information request in New York state, which included data across all jurisdictions and also for NY specifically.

The data accounts for revenue in all jurisdictions that operators registered in New York serve.

A closer look at DFS revenue, handle

Here’s what the revenue figure from the New York State Gaming Commission of more than $327 million accounts for.

DFS sites that are registered must report their total handle (entry fees) and revenue — for all locations — to the state of New York on a monthly basis. Pretty much every site in existence is registered in New York.

Therefore, the figure should be pretty accurate in capturing the full amount of money flowing through licensed DFS sites, everywhere. New York enacted its DFS law in August of last year, and DraftKings and FanDuel started serving the state almost immediately.

The only caveats? Some sites were not immediately licensed by the state, and their handle and revenue would only be counted from the time they were licensed. NYSGC also cautions that the figures are “unaudited and subject to change.” It also doesn’t capture revenue in the rest of the world — i.e. European operators not licenses in New York — but this is a relatively small piece of the pie.

The numbers are not broken down by operator, so this data doesn’t tell us how much marketshare DraftKings and FanDuel enjoyed.

$3.2 billion in handle

The total amount of handle for all locations was just over $3.2 billion over the same time period.

That roughly falls in line with past estimates for the amount of entry fees the sites handled.

The biggest months for DFS

The data obtained by LSR is broken down by month.

The biggest month in terms of handle was November, when the sites saw $419 million in entry fees. The smallest was July, with $164 million.

Here is the handle by month for all operators in all jurisdictions:

MonthHandle
September 2016$341,646,436
October 2016$359,535,740
November 2016$419,302,327
December 2016$376,829,057
January 2017$337,485,960
February 2017$182,712,977
March 2017$232,269,984
April 2017$247,084,673
May 2017$209,693,930
June 2017$180,035,908
July 2017$164,487,825
August 2017$177,482,936

The New York part of the equation

The data allows the state of New York to calculate and track how much tax the DFS operators are paying. Handle for just New York state was about $315 million; revenue for NY only was about $32 million.

For the 12-month period, the sites paid more than $4.8 million to the state. The state taxes DFS gross revenue for users in New York at a rate of 15.5 percent.

The percentage of total handle and revenue from New York players was around nine or ten percent in every month.

That underscores again exactly how important it was for the DFS industry to gain legal clarity in the state, after state attorney general Eric Schneiderman issued cease and desist letters to DraftKings and FanDuel in late 2015.

Where does that mean the DFS industry stands?

The data does not paint a picture of an industry experiencing overall growth, at least for this snapshot in time.

A report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated handle for all operators, everywhere, for the calendar year in 2016 at about $3.2 billion as well. Revenue for last year was roughly $350 million, according to that same estimate. If those estimates are accurate, that means the DFS industry has plateaued or perhaps even contracted slightly, at least in the first eight months of 2016.

DraftKings appears to have taken some marketshare away from FanDuel, according to other channel checks. But the new data shows the market has not grown in a significant way. Of note: DraftKings added Germany to the list of countries it serves starting in March.

The sites have made marketing pushes to start the NFL season. That includes Draft, which has made a substantial effort in the latter half of 2017. And the sites generate a lot of revenue via daily fantasy football. It’s also the start of the NBA season and daily fantasy basketball, which accounts for an increasing share of handle and revenue.

So the status of the industry might become more clear after the next few months.

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Dustin Gouker
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Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer — including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.