DFS sites head into one of the slowest periods of the year

DraftKings, FanDuel Generated About $220 Million In Entry Fees In May

DFS handle April 2018

Correction: A previous version of this story reported a “significant decrease” in FanDuel’s revenue. A representative says the comparison data from last year was inaccurate.

Summer is the leanest time of the year for daily fantasy sports, and May numbers reveal the extent of the tapering-off.

The industry generated close to $220 million in entry fees last month, a slowdown of about $30 million from April. That’s according to data from publicly viewable contests at the major DFS operators.

Handle and revenue for DFS

DraftKingsFanDuelFantasyDraft and Yahoo DFS combined for about 37 million entries over the month, adding up to $218 million in handle (entry fees). Total revenue approached $25 million after subtracting payouts from that figure.

That “decrease” from April is partially misleading, or at least mostly attributable to the sports calendar. The year-over-year numbers are the important ones, and total industry revenue is up this year.

DraftKings’ revenue increased more than 25 percent YOY. FanDuel says it posted a significant increase this May, as well.

DraftKings

  • Entries (approximate): 19 million
  • Handle (approximate): $137 million
  • Revenue (approximate): $14 million

As it will for the next few months, daily fantasy baseball carried the traffic for DraftKings in May. About 9.5 million of those total entries can be attributed to MLB contests.

NBA action (6 million entries) dropped of noticeably in second place, followed by daily fantasy golf (2 million). Those PGA Tour contests continue to perform well, once again accounting for five of DraftKings’ six most-profitable contests last month.

And once again, there was more interest in NASCAR contests than daily fantasy hockey (despite the climax of the NHL playoffs).

DraftKings’ margins held steady at about 11 percent in May.

FanDuel

  • Entries (approximate): 17 million
  • Handle (approximate): $77 million
  • Revenue (approximate): $10 million

The total number of FanDuel entries is up about 50 percent this year, and handle is up double-digit points, too. Margins contracted, though, with FanDuel holding less than 13 percent of the total entry fees.

It took an extra month, but MLB entries (8.8 million) leapfrogged NBA entries (6.5 million) in May. Overall, baseball contests were more than twice as profitable for FanDuel as daily fantasy basketball.

The next tier reversed itself to align with DraftKings, as well, with daily fantasy golf overtaking hockey.

FantasyDraft & Yahoo DFS

There’s a big drop-off between the “big two” and the competition. DraftKings and FanDuel essentially control the entire US market between them.

FantasyDraft and Yahoo DFS each generated in the ballpark of $2 million in entries and $100,000 in revenue during May.

Legal Sports Report does not have any insight into the metrics at Draft, which is likely the No. 3 operator in the space.

Eric Ramsey
- Eric is a reporter and writer covering regulated US gambling, sports betting, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.