Daily Fantasy Sports Site Ballr Seeks Investment To Resume Operations
Legal Sports Report

Updates On Troubled DFS Sites: Ballr Paying Players, Seeks Investment; FantasyUp Paying, But Silent

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A pair of troubled daily fantasy sports sites — Ballr and FantasyUp — appear to be paying players requesting withdrawals, after problems experienced over the past month, although one of the sites is being more forthcoming with information than the other.

We reported the issues with both sites last month. While the head of Ballr is actively talking about his site’s status, there has been no communication from FantasyUp regarding its situation.

The story at Ballr

Legal Sports Report recently talked with Ballr CEO Pete Skouras; in fact, he actively sought to talk to LSR, which we feel is important to note.

Currently, Ballr is not operational, and visitors to the site are greeted with this message:

Ballrs,

We’re down temporarily and trying to get Ballr back up in a bit.

Your balances are intact.

In the meantime, requests to redeem account balances will be honored. Send an email to [email protected] and include your login email address and we’ll be in touch within a few hours.

Regards,

Ballr

Skouras told LSR that the site was taken down in the wake of a failed sale to a third-party. Skouras said the site had been in the process of a transaction for about six months. The two parties had been close to closing the deal on several occasions, Skouras said, before the deal finally fell apart entirely last month.

The site is not likely to relaunch without an investment from a third party, Skouras said; reopening the site would be his preference.

“We’re open to talking to anyone about an investment,” Skouras said. “The software works, we’ve been operational for more than a year, with no complaints (about the software).”

Skouras said player balances of any size are being and will continue to be returned to players in the interim, by emailing the address listed above.

LSR has seen no recent reports of players not receiving their money, and based on Skouras’ forthcoming nature, we would be surprised if all players who want their money do not have access to their funds.

The story at FantasyUp

The other site where players were having trouble with withdrawals is FantasyUp. Players had complained via the forums at RotoGrinders that they had been unable to process withdrawals.

Like Ballr, FantasyUp said it has been in the process of completing a transaction; At RotoGrinders, a FantasyUp representative had said it was “in process of finalizing a deal with a national-wide brand and raising significant funding.” Unlike Ballr, FantasyUp has been operational and appears to have been taking deposits throughout the ordeal.

FantasyUp (via RotoGrinders) had said it was unable to process withdrawals, blaming the delay on its accounts “being held in escrow.”

Despite that fact, FantasyUp said via RotoGrinders that it would be able to put money into a PayPal account and was subsequently able to pay players requesting withdrawals. FantasyUp users at RotoGrinders reported anecdotally that they had successfully received their withdrawals, although one user said he had still been experiencing an issue.

Despite the fact that payments appear to be largely taken care of, FantasyUp has not been very forthcoming with additional information about the issues, or about the transaction that it reported being in the works.

Earlier this month, FantasyUp simply told DailyFantasyTalk that “the issue was resolved”; the FantasyUp rep at RotoGrinders has not posted recently. The site has posted on Twitter this past week, after hinting at “big news” in July.

Legal Sports Report has attempted to get in touch with FantasyUp in several ways — via the site’s support email, Twitter, and the RotoGrinders forums. None has resulted in a statement or contact from FantasyUp regarding its status. Unresolved questions include:

  • The status of the transaction that FantasyUp claims to be in the middle of.
  • Why it was able to free up funds to pay players requesting a withdrawal if all money was still in escrow.
  • Why funds were not segregated and available to players at all times.
  • Why FantasyUp continued to be active — and appeared to be taking deposits — while the site knew it had an issue with processing withdrawals.

As noted in a story last month, FantasyUp’s “suspension of customer withdrawals could leave it vulnerable to a lawsuit,” according to attorney Daniel Wallach. It would seem like it would be in the site’s best interest to be as transparent as possible regarding its recent issues.

Dustin Gouker
- 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.
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