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The daily fantasy sports industry generated just under a quarter of a billion dollars in entry fees in April, according to data from publicly viewable contests at the major DFS operators.
DraftKings, FanDuel, FantasyDraft and Yahoo DFS combined for nearly 43 million entries during the month, adding up to $246 million in entry fees (handle). Total revenue came to about $28 million after subtracting payouts from that figure.
Don’t let anyone tell you DFS is withering. Despite smaller margins, earnings are up significantly across the board in year-over-year comparisons.
Offering the broadest range of sports and contests, DraftKings continues to set the pace for the industry. Handle increased 20 percent compared to last year, and revenue grew by about the same amount.
As you’d expect this time of year, daily fantasy baseball carried the traffic. About 9.5 million of those total entries can be attributed to MLB contests. The NBA (8.5 million entries) wasn’t far behind, followed by daily fantasy golf (2.7 million).
Incidentally, PGA contests accounted for DraftKings’ three most-profitable tournaments (and five of the top six). It earned more than $600,000 from the Fantasy Golf Millionaire event alone.
April is peak playoff month for the NHL, but demand for daily fantasy hockey lags behind. DraftKings tallied under a million NHL entries last month, fewer than NASCAR contests.
For all of the recent complaints about rake increases, DraftKings’ margins have actually contracted. The site held less than 11 percent of its handle in April, fractionally down from last year.
NBA contests generated more entries for FanDuel than MLB, but the latter was still more profitable. The site earned about $6 million from baseball contests, compared to nearly $5 million for daily fantasy basketball.
The next tier is reversed, too, with hockey being more profitable to FanDuel than golf.
The site has only been offering PGA Tour contests for about a year, and it was only authorized to do so in New York last month. That’s likely part of the reason for the swap from DraftKings’ numbers, with golf still catching on at FanDuel.
FanDuel held about 13 percent of its total handle for the month, down from last year, and revenue was just about flat.
There’s a huge drop-off between the “big two” and the competition. DraftKings and FanDuel combine to make up literally 99 percent of the major US market.
FantasyDraft and Yahoo DFS each generated in the ballpark of $100,000 in April revenue, taking two different paths to get there. Handle for Yahoo DFS was more than $3 million, compared to more than $2 million for FantasyDraft.
Legal Sports Report does not have any insight into the metrics at Draft, which is likely the No. 3 operator in the space.