While forecasts for online poker and casino revenue continue to be cut, one-day fantasy sports is on a torrid growth path that could push the industry past $2.5bn in total annual revenue by 2020.
What has to go right for DFS
As with any bull case, there are a number of conditions to Eilers’ eye-popping projection, including:
- The number of unique active players in 2020 would need to be 5 million, up over tenfold from the current number as estimated by Eilers.
- And those players would need to spend quite a bit more each on average – $30bn in total annual entry fees by 2020, as opposed to an estimated $1bn in entry fees for 2014.
- Not only would the regulatory environment need to remain “stable,” but at least some of the U.S. states where DFS is currently prohibited would have to abandon that policy and embrace the activity.
Who will lead the market in 2020?
That’s an aggressive assumption, in that it requires many powerful players (ESPN, commercial casinos and the NFL come immediately to mind) to either sit on the sidelines for the next five years even as DFS continues to experience stratospheric growth or to partner with FanDuel / DraftKings.
Should one or more of those players enter on their own, they could easily fragment the market in a way that might inhibit growth.