“This Week In Daily” is LegalSportsReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.
Stories of note
FanDuel gets $275mm
We got the answers this week, as the DFS giant got even bigger, with a $275mm round that values the company well above $1 billion.
The money comes a few months before NFL season and gives FanDuel a bigger war chest in its arms race with DraftKings, and other possible threats to the two sites’ duopoly. How will FanDuel use all that money? That remains to be seen.
DraftKings is also supposed to be close to closing its next round, according to some media outlets, with Fox Sports reportedly involved. But an official announcement has not yet been made. We did learn, however, why a Disney investment in DraftKings didn’t happen.
Here comes PokerStars?
What exactly PokerStars and its parent company, Amaya Gaming, are up to in the DFS space remains somewhat of a mystery.
We’re less than two months from the NFL season, but the online poker giant just sent out a survey to former players in the U.S.
Which leaves us with lots of questions, most of which we had before. Are we still going to see a PokerStars product before football season begins? Are they acquiring a site or building it on their own? And can PokerStars compete in the top tier of DFS?
Of the week
Reads of the week
This is probably not a take you would agree with if you work at a DFS site that is not named FanDuel or DraftKings.
Ezra Galston has been around the block in the DFS world, pretty much since the beginning. And he has bad news for startup operators in the space:
It’s my opinion that they will all fail.
Why? Because nearly every entrepreneur I’ve spoken to in the space gravely underestimates the liquidity advantage of existing incumbents.
Agree or disagree with his take, he puts forth a pretty logical argument.
If you are only going to read one thing about the scripting debate that has captured the attention of lots of DFS players, this story from ESPN’s David Purdum should be the one.
He tackles the subject of automation used at DFS sites and approaches it from all angles — the perspective of the players, experts, and from FanDuel and DraftKings themselves.
More than a week after DraftKings changed its terms of service to allow some scripting, the issue is still a hot topic at DFS forums and in social media, and doesn’t appear to be one that is going away. You can also learn more about the subject by listening to a podcast from RotoGrinders’ Dan Back.
Watch of the week
FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles talks about his company after its latest round of funding:
Tweets of the week
Totally understandable why FanDuel and Draft Kings would argue that #DFS is not gambling. Everybody else should be embarrassed.
— Jeff Hwang (@RivalSchoolX) July 14, 2015
— Howard Stutz (@howardstutz) July 12, 2015
Number of the week
The amount of money that FanDuel will be awarded via contests to players this year, according to CEO Nigel Eccles. Previous estimates had put the amount of prizes north of $1 billion.
In case you missed it
Other news from the world of DFS:
- A survey of DFS players returned a great deal of interesting and useful data.
- DraftKings signs a deal with L.A.’s Staples Center.
- Upstart DFS site Draft Ops has big plans, and more sponsorship deals on the way.
- DFS for golf shows no signs of slowing as the British Open creates even more interest. The only thing that could stop it? Possible problems with the legality of golf contests.
- A Nevada regulator isn’t sure DFS is legal under state law.
- After Pete Rose’s appearance at the All-Star Game for Major League Baseball, the way MLB treats gambling and DFS is under the microscope.
- A story at The Detroit News equates DFS to gambling.
- A member of the World Series of Poker main event’s final table — Max Steinberg — qualified via DraftKings.