DraftKings, FanDuel Sometimes Acting In Tandem For Public Relations

DraftKings Leak: Timeline Of Responses From DraftKings, FanDuel, And The FSTA

DFS reaction
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The DraftKings data leak has taken on a life of its own in recent days, eliciting multiple reactions from DraftKings, FanDuel and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Below is a timeline of official reactions from those parties, most recent first. This story will be updated as more official responses are offered.

Last updated Oct. 18

Saturday, October 17

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association sent this email, indicating that it would not hold its winter conference in Las Vegas:

FSTA Members,

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our industry. We have vowed to be open and forthcoming with each of you, and to that end, I have several important pieces of information for you today.
 
First, given the State of Nevada’s decision to require paid contest operators to obtain licenses to operate, and the manner in which those decisions were worded and communicated, we have chosen to relocate our winter conference. Continued patronage of Nevada is impossible for our industry at this time. We’ve enjoyed working with our event partners in Las Vegas, and we hope to return someday in the future.
 
FSTA conference committee chairwoman Stacie Stern is leading an effort to relocate the event on the same dates (Jan. 20-21), and we hope to see all of you there. The task could not be in better hands.
 
Second, last night there were media reports that confirmed that the FSTA has received a request for documents and information from authorities in the state of Florida. We have been in contact with the issuer of the request and have been told that the FSTA is not the focus of its inquiry. The FSTA is working with its outside counsel to cooperate fully and provide the requested documentation. Of course, being cooperative with a government authority does not change our mission to serve the industry and our members.
 
I know the tenor of the media coverage of our industry over the last few weeks has been mostly unfavorable. There is little we can do to prevent leaks. We have been focused on correcting inaccuracies and misinformation, and trying to make sure the media knows that the fantasy industry has more than 300 businesses across the country and millions of fans. We also are being as cooperative and forthcoming as possible with the wide range of media inquiries while supporting our member companies.
 
I can assure you that we are working nights, days, and weekends to protect and promote the fantasy industry.
 
I will continue to keep you informed at regular intervals.
 
Thank you again for your support of the FSTA and our industry.

Paul Charchian
President
FSTA.org

Friday, October 16

Paul Charchian, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, offered this take in a pro-con style editorial:

Opposing view: Fantasy sports remain popular, fun

Fantasy sports have been around for decades, but America’s love affair with building its own dream teams has never been greater. More than 50 million Americans played fantasy sports in the last year, demonstrating its broad appeal to fans.

Of course, more has evolved than just fantasy sports’ popularity. Thirty years ago, players tracked teams using a pencil, a calculator and newspaper box scores. Today, technology has enabled a faster, more interactive experience, along with new types of fantasy sports contests.

That should be no surprise. Consumer demands for immediacy and technology innovation have fundamentally changed the way many products and entertainments are delivered and enjoyed.

But for all the changes, fantasy sports are played for the same reason today as they were 30 years ago: They bring fans closer to the games they love through a competition based on skill and sports knowledge.

Much has been said about the rise of daily fantasy sports and the two fast-growing companies that have become leaders in the space, including questions about the integrity of the contests they offer.

These are serious allegations, and the decisive response from both reflects their commitment to transparency and accountability. Both companies have made immediate changes to their policies and engaged highly respected independent advisers to review internal controls and make recommendations. These are important steps as emerging start-ups transition to established businesses.

As the popularity of fantasy sports has grown, so has the industry around them; hundreds of companies nationwide provide services and content to fans. Every one understands the importance of maintaining our customers’ trust.

For that reason, the charter of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) includes policies designed to protect the integrity of fantasy contests, prevent unfair advantages, and ensure that fantasy sports operators follow the law.

As the environment around fantasy sports evolves, FSTA policies will expand to continuously reflect best practices, legality and consumer safety. As an industry, we are committed to serving all 50 million fantasy sports fans with integrity.

Thursday, October 15

DraftKings and FanDuel both pulled out of Nevada when the gaming commission there said daily fantasy sports sites need to operate with a license.

DraftKings’ statement:

“We understand that the gaming industry is important to Nevada and, for that reason, they are taking this exclusionary approach against the increasingly popular fantasy sports industry. We strongly disagree with this decision and will work diligently to ensure Nevadans have the right to participate in what we strongly believe is legal entertainment that millions of Americans enjoy.  Unfortunately, we now have to temporarily disable our product for our thousands of customers in Nevada in order to be compliant in all jurisdictions.”

FanDuel’s statement:

“On behalf of our users in Nevada, FanDuel is terribly disappointed that the Nevada Gaming Control Board has decided that only incumbent Nevada casinos may offer fantasy sports.  This decision stymies innovation and ignores the fact that fantasy sports is a skill-based entertainment product loved and played by millions of sports fans. This decision deprives these fans of a product that has been embraced broadly by the sports community including professional sports teams, leagues and media partners.  We are examining all options and will exhaust all efforts to bring the fun, challenge and excitement of fantasy sports back to our Nevada fans.  In the interim, because we are committed to ensuring we are compliant in all jurisdictions, regrettably, we are forced to cease operations in Nevada.”

DraftKings employee Jonathan Aguiar offered the following statement via Twitter, responding to his name being used in the New York Times:

Aguiar statement

Wednesday, October 14

Reports that the FBI and DoJ are in the “preliminary” stage of a probe into the daily fantasy sports industry elicited a sharp response from a DraftKings spokeswoman:

“It is entirely predictable that the government would follow up on the misleading reports about our industry,” a DraftKings spokeswoman said in a statement. “We have no knowledge of the specifics of any federal investigation but strongly disagree with any notion that our company has engaged in any illegal activities.”

Massachusetts public officials have been among the most vocal about the regulation of daily fantasy sports. As such, it elicited an email statement from Griffin Finan, who deals with governmental affairs for DraftKings, which is based in Boston. From the Boston Herald:

“We are open to having a productive discussion with the Senate President and House Speaker. DraftKings is a Massachusetts based start-up and we value the opportunity to build a strong relationship with our hometown leadership.”

Monday, October 12

Sports Business Journal’s Eric Fisher spoke to DraftKings CEO Jason Robins for an interview (subscription).

Robins’ quotes for the story offered little new, other than we learned that he was in London when the story started breaking — presumably as part of the start of DraftKings’ sponsorship of the NFL’s International Series. He said he was there for a day, but he returned quickly upon receiving “urgent messages.”

Friday, October 9

On Friday morning, an email was sent to users from the founders of DraftKings:

As the three co-founders of DraftKings, we want to speak to you directly about what has been going on.

We know that you play DraftKings because it’s fun and because it gives you a chance to showcase your skills against millions of other fans, and we know that you cannot do that without a level playing field.

The fairness and integrity of our contests has been at the heart of everything we have built since we started the company three and a half years ago.

Over the past week, questions have arisen around an employee of ours who won a significant prize on a competitor’s site. While our internal investigation has reflected absolutely no wrongdoing on his part, this has still pushed us to reevaluate our processes.

Long before this happened, the wheels were in motion for an external review of our policies and procedures. Given the pace of our growth, we felt that an audit was critical to ensure the security of our platform, so we hired an external law firm experienced with these issues to conduct a full review.

But that is not enough. In addition to this audit, we have put in place a set of core measures that we believe are central to this process:

We expanded our existing policy prohibiting DraftKings employees from playing on our site to prohibit participation in any public daily fantasy sports contests for money.

We also will prohibit employees from any other Daily Fantasy Sports contest operator from participating in games on DraftKings.

We are actively reviewing our organizational structure and will add resources to ensure compliance with all recommendations stemming from internal and external findings.

We are working with multiple third parties to strengthen all internal policies and procedures.

The events of the past week have caused us to take a broader look and to ask those both here and externally to widen the scope of their analysis of our business.

We are aware that there is room for growth, regardless of the strength of our current platform. We will work tirelessly to improve all aspects of our customer experience, which is every bit as important to us as the effort we put into our product.

You will no doubt continue to hear from the media about both DraftKings and the industry. It is our prerogative to keep driving that conversation ourselves. We will work to respond to your concerns in complete transparency and to inform you of the steps we are taking to inspire your full trust.

Please know how grateful we are for the passion and loyalty you have shown DraftKings throughout our history and especially over the past week. You remain our greatest priority.

Thank you,

Jason Robins, Matt Kalish & Paul Liberman
Co-Founders, DraftKings

Thursday, October 8

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins has done two interviews today:

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association sent an email to members on Thursday:

FSTA Members,

For the last several months, there has been a great deal of attention focused on our industry with an intense spotlight on the DFS space. Obviously, the intensity picked up dramatically earlier this week.

Let me first say that our board is fully supportive of the efforts of DraftKings and FanDuel to provide a greater degree of transparency to their respective operations, and we are very pleased that they have retained independent advisors to help them navigate these waters. We believe strongly that, at the end of the day, both companies will emerge as healthier, more vibrant businesses.

Let me give you a brief update with regard to our role in this process over the last several days and some thoughts about how we best move forward.

First, the FSTA board has been burning the midnight oil with the DraftKings and FanDuel teams and with Finsbury (our communications agency). Some of the media coverage was not based on facts, but the two companies did the best they could to push back where possible and fix anything that was incorrect. While the employee concern was a company-specific issue, we provided media support with several national media outlets (e.g., NBC Nightly News, ESPN, Wall Street Journal) to try to provide balance.

We also attempted to ensure that the two companies had a degree of unity regarding their approach. Had they each gone along different routes, it would have sent the wrong message to other FSTA members, employees, media and other important stakeholders. That’s one of the important roles we play – encouraging our members to do what’s right for their respective businesses but reminding them that there is a larger ecosystem that could be impacted.

You might have seen some of the statements the FSTA issued over the past few days. If not, find them here:  http://fsta.org/category/fsta-press-releases/.

With the last several days as a backdrop, we believe the FSTA is at a pivotal moment to provide stronger, aligned processes around industry governance. Frankly, we have an obligation and opportunity to be the beacon of integrity for all of our members and for the 50 million sports fans who love our games – and we’re moving swiftly.

We already have met with experts in the governance field and plan to continue that process so we can identify the best possible independent counsel to help us determine the right way forward.

There will be multiple steps in the development process when we will solicit your feedback on our proposed strategic plan. We’ll explain with transparency and candor as to how we’ve arrived at our recommendations. Nothing will be finalized without your input and participation.

The FSTA board is fully engaged, and I will provide periodic updates throughout the process. Please feel free to reach out to me or other board members if you have any questions at all.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the FSTA and our industry.

Paul Charchian

President

FanDuel also released a statement about scripting and how it is handled by the site after renewed questions from players.

Wednesday,  October 7

DraftKings and FanDuel’s responses began to diverge as FanDuel released a lengthy statement while DraftKings CEO Jason Robins took to the airwaves.

FanDuel’s statement was posted on the company website:

Media reports yesterday raised issues concerning an employee from another fantasy site participating in our NFL Sunday Million contest last week. Trust with our players is core to our business and has always been our primary concern so we take any potential game integrity issue very seriously.

Based on everything we know thus far, there is no evidence indicating that the integrity of FanDuel’s contest was in any way compromised, or that non-public information was used for unfair advantage. That said, the incident has raised questions about the trust-based relationship we have with our players so just relying on what we know right now isn’t enough. That’s why we’re taking the following steps:

  • We have permanently banned our employees from playing any daily fantasy games for money, on any site. We will also require all customers to confirm that they are not an employee of any other third party fantasy site, and if they are, they will not be allowed to access our site.
  • We have asked former federal judge and United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey to review the facts and evaluate our internal controls, standards and practices.  His mandate is to conduct a review to identify ways that we can ensure we are doing the right things to maintain the trust we have with our players. He will have the freedom and authority to look at any areas he thinks appropriate. We will ask him and his team at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to develop a set of recommendations for us to adopt and to highlight any areas where our controls can be strengthened.
  • We are also creating an internal advisory board, led by Michael Garcia of the Kirkland & Ellis law firm and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The advisory board will provide on-going advice, recommendations and guidance to ensure that we are always taking every step possible to ensure the integrity of our site and our games. We also look forward to speaking with regulators across the nation about how to define the right set of rules for our industry as it continues to grow.

FanDuel is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. The way fans have embraced our games is a clear sign that fantasy sports is here to stay.

It’s our job to ensure that as our company grows, so does our ability to ensure that our fans can be confident in the sanctity and integrity of every game, every day.

Below is a partial transcript of Robins’ appearance on Fox News:

First, I want to make it clear to everyone that we are completely committed to creating an open and transparent environment, Having the trust of our customers that the game is fair is everything to us. We have done everything I think to investigate this incident and have very clearly found through evidence that we pulled, records of when data was sent to this employee that there was absolutely no wrongdoing here.

It was a little disappointing the reports that come out did not account for those facts and unfortunately dragged this individual’s name through the mud. He’s a good kid, his name is Ethan he works really hard and I find it very disappointing in order to have a very important discussion that we are very open to having and very committed to having about how we an do a better job creating a trusted and open environment for everyone, it’s just unfortunate for me that somebody who was innocent had to be smeared in order to have that discussion.

[…]

So we have great records of when data is pulled and when communications are sent. So it was quite easy for us to go and pull those records.

[…]

We also contracted a third-party law firm that’s conducting an independent investigation and as soon as we have a summary of those findings, we will come and publicly share them.

[…]

I think this is an important discussion, and I am very much open. Before any of this happened, we had already contracted along with FanDuel to have a third party to come in and do a full audit of our procedures, make sure that if there’s any places that we can get better that we do.

We’re a young company, we’ve only been around three and a half years, and I think we’ve done a good job putting really strong policies and procedures in place. But they can definitely get better, and I know that. And there’s going to be a lot of work that we put behind this. I think it’s very important that everyone out there knows there’s the highest integrity in our games, and that players can trust that the competition is fair. And we will work tirelessly until everyone out there is very clear that this is the case.

[…]

We evaluated this and discussed it with the rest of the industry. My personal opinion is that no matter times I tell you guys we have controls and procedures in place, it’s still always going to be a question that is asked, and the really only satisfactory answer is just to completely prohibit employees from playing on each other’s sites. We have never allowed employees to play in any of the public games at DraftKings. And now it’s clear they shouldn’t be allowed to play in any of the public games on any of the competitors’ sites, so that’s a policy that we have put in place.

Robins later appeared on Outside the Lines on ESPN; some of that interview can be seen here. Below are some excerpts from the interview:

Bob Ley: What have the past 36 hours meant not just to your company, but to the daily fantasy sports industry

Jason Robins: It’s been a whirlwind the last 36 hours. You know, I think that the two most important things here are that, one, this is a very real and important issue, and we are committed to having a completely open and transparent environment where we can have absolute trust with people playing in the game, that it is fair. And secondly, is this particular incident which sparked this discussion, and this does not in any way take away from the importance of this discussion, but this particular incident was based on complete misrepresentation, bad reporting, frankly. And we have finished our internal investigation.

We’ve also hired a independent law firm to conduct their own investigation. And what we found is that there’s absolutely no evidence of ethical wrongdoing. The employee made a mistake and posted some data he shouldn’t have. But he posted it after lineups had already locked on the competitor site FanDuel he was playing on. And we have records that prove that. So nothing here happened that damages the integrity of the game. But that doesn’t mean that the commitment that we and all the companies in our industry need to make isn’t real. It absolutely is.

JR (talking about employees playing DFS): And you know, i think this is a real eye-opening experience for us. In retrospect, it seems obvious that that would cause people some concern. You know, we looked at what we were doing internally and the fact that we had pretty good monitoring and we could tell from our records if anyone was accessing data and when they were accessing it and how they were accessing it. And we felt like that was enough. But it really isn’t. And our commitment has to be to take away any question, even if it’s one that we know from our own, you know, internal policies is something that we don’t worry about, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that everyone who’s playing needs to feel 100% safe, and we need to know our commitment is to complete openness, complete transparency. That’s something we’re not only committed to doing ourselves But to driving throughout the industry.

BL: How many DraftKings employees have ever played at FanDuel?

JR: I don’t know an exact number. But we can get back to you on that. I mean, it’s probably a few dozen. It’s not an insignificant number. It’s not the whole company. But I don’t know offhand.

BL: Do you know how successful they were?

JR: I don’t know that either. I know that, obviously, that this last incident where Ethan won some money was a big success, and I think had we seen anything of that magnitude before, it probably would have, you know, come out before. But you know, I don’t know overall how successful individual employees were. That’s something we’re still looking into and it’s going to be a part of what the law firm is looking into as well.

BL: Got a copy of a letter here that the New York state attorney general’s office sent to you, a similar letter perhaps a little less detailed went to your cohorts over at FanDuel. And among the points, I think four of the nine points raised come down basically to so-called inside information. What safeguards did you have in place and what steps are you now taking to segregate and to enforce some security on that information?

JR: So, first of all, we are looking forward to fully cooperating with the New York attorney general. Providing any information they want. And I think this is an opportunity for a few things. One, I think it will help us set the record straight because we will provide the same data that we did look at in our investigation, the same data that were provided to the law firm. And the second thing I think it will do is it will give us an opportunity to get feedback from them on what areas we might be able to get better in. We’re a young company. We’re only 3 1/2 years in, and we put a lot of effort towards this. In fact, we have — previous to even having this discussion, we had already engaged the law firm and they were in the process of doing a full audit of all of our policies and procedures. …

As for your specific question as to what things were in place, we have a very strict policy that every employee receives when they first join DraftKings that clearly details that they may not use any information that they gain from working here in any — in any case other than doing things that further their job. And if they do use any information to gain any sort of competitive edge on another website that offers daily fantasy sports, they are going to be terminated. We also…

BL: Have you ever fired anyone for cause tore that reason?

JR: No, we’ve never had that happen before. This is the first time we’ve ever even had a major allegation like this and it turns out this employee didn’t do anything wrong. So this is a first for us, and I think you know, the things that we’ve done in the past have actually done a pretty good job of making sure this wasn’t an issue. In a lot of ways, this is more optics than anything. It’s more ensuring that everyone out there who doesn’t just want to take our word for it. They know that the only way to be certain that they feel 100% comfortable is if we have a policy against employees playing.

BL: … Do you believe regulation is inevitable for your industry?

JR: You know, I don’t know if it’s inevitable, but if that’s the decision that the government makes, we’re open to that. I mean, anything that will help provide an environment that people feel comfortable and safe, I’m happy to partake in and, you know, right now I think all we can do is continue to try to put the best possible policy and procedures in place, and whether or not there’s official regulation, that’s what we’re going to do. And if the government decides that regulation is the best way of ensuring that we’re doing that, then we’ll accept that and we’ll do every bit of our best to comply.”

Eventually, DraftKings also released a written statement:

As a leader in the Daily Fantasy Sports industry, we take the trust of our community very seriously and remain fiercely committed to the integrity of DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports product.

Effective immediately, DraftKings employees will be permanently prohibited from participation in any public daily fantasy games for money. We will also prohibit employees from any Daily Fantasy Sports contest operator from participating in games on DraftKings. We are glad to see that others in the industry have followed suit and believe that this is an important next step in retaining the trust of our players.

DraftKings has engaged a legal team from Greenberg Traurig, led by former United States Attorney John Pappalardo, to review our findings and conduct an investigation specific to the allegations against one of our employees. We will release the summary of those findings upon completion.

Furthermore, in order to maximize the integrity of our product and the protection of our players, we have been working with Greenberg Traurig to advise us on ensuring that our policies and practices are second to none.

DraftKings’ explosive growth is a testament to our ability to deepen our fans’ engagement with the sports they love. We are committed to reinforcing the trust and security of our millions of loyal customers.

The FSTA offered a statement on Wednesday afternoon, praising FanDuel.

(Chicago, IL) — We applaud the meaningful steps FanDuel is taking to maintain the trust of its fans. FanDuel has acted swiftly and decisively to assemble a world-class team of independent advisors, and are providing a level of transparency that will be noted and appreciated by fantasy sports fans everywhere. Fantasy sports are enjoyed by more than 50 million Americans, and the industry is committed to serving each of them with integrity.

That was followed by a separate statement praising DraftKings:

(Chicago, IL) — The Fantasy Sports Trade Association strongly supports DraftKings in its commitment to maintaining the trust of its customers. DraftKings has taken important and aggressive action, supported by highly-credible independent advisors, that will further strengthen the integrity of the product it offers to fantasy sports fans. As an industry, we remain focused on the trust and support of the more than 50 million Americans who play and love fantasy sports.

Late in the day, an article appeared at the Boston Globe, which did an extensive interview with Robins.

Tuesday, October 6th

DraftKings and FanDuel public relations staffers both talked to ESPN on Tuesday:

FanDuel PR tried to downplay how much DraftKings employees play at their site:

On Tuesday, FanDuel spokesperson Justine Sacco told ESPN Chalk that only 0.3 percent of total money won on its site has been won by DraftKings employees, which would be less than $10 million.

DraftKings had this to say:

According to DraftKings, “a very limited number of people” have access to ownership data. “It is confined only to those that require this info to perform their duties,” DraftKings spokesperson Sabrina Macias told ESPN Chalk in an email.

Macias also talked about why the data is not made public beforehand:

“We have considered whether it would be a cool feature to have people be able to see trends and other overall player utilization info in real time as selections are being made,” Macias said. “But the reason we haven’t done that is because we don’t want to create an incentive to wait until the last minute to submit your roster. We also don’t want to create an incentive for people to submit dummy lineups to manipulate the data being presented to the public. So [it is] better to wait to provide info like this until after lineups are locked.”

Monday, October 5th

Official responses came in droves on Monday, as mainstream media began to pick up on the story. First, a statement was posted that was a joint statement of FanDuel and DraftKings, posted at FanDuel:

October 5, 2015: While there has been recent attention on industry employees playing on FanDuel and DraftKings, nothing is more important to DraftKings and FanDuel than the integrity of the games we offer to our customers. Both companies have strong policies in place to ensure that employees do not misuse any information at their disposal and strictly limit access to company data to only those employees who require it to do their jobs. Employees with access to this data are rigorously monitored by internal fraud control teams, and we have no evidence that anyone has misused it.

However, we continue to review our internal controls to ensure they are as strong as they can be. We also plan to work with the entire fantasy sports industry on this specific issue so that fans everywhere can continue to enjoy and trust the games they love.

Soon after, DraftKings posted its statement, which was nearly identical. That statement omitted language at the start (While there has been recent attention on industry employees playing on FanDuel and DraftKings…”)

Late Monday, DraftKings offered another statement, this time via Fortune. This specifically addressed Haskell, the data leak, and his score at FanDuel:

There has been some confusion regarding a recent piece of data that was inadvertently posted on DraftKings’ blog containing information about players and fantasy games. Some reports are mischaracterizing the situation and implying that there was wrongdoing. We want to set the record straight. For the last several days, DraftKings has been conducting a thorough investigation, including examining records of internal communications and access to our database, interviewing our employees, and sharing information regarding the incident with FanDuel. The evidence clearly shows that the employee in question did not receive the data on player utilization until 1:40 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 27. Lineups on FanDuel locked at 1:00 p.m. that day, at which point this employee (along with every other person playing in a FanDuel contest) could no longer edit his player selections. This clearly demonstrates that this employee could not possibly have used the information in question to make decisions about his FanDuel lineup. Again, there is no evidence that any information was used to create an unfair advantage, and any insinuations to the contrary are factually incorrect.

Finally, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which includes daily fantasy sports companies under its umbrella, made this statement. The biggest takeaway: DraftKings and FanDuel employees cannot play DFS for cash, for the time being.

(Chicago, IL)  – The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), DraftKings and FanDuel have always understood that nothing is more important than the integrity of the games we offer to fans. For that reason, the FSTA has included in its charter that member companies must restrict employee access to and use of competitive data for play on other sites. At this time, there is no evidence that any employee or company has violated these rules. That said, the inadvertent release of non-public data by a fantasy operator employee has sparked a conversation among fantasy sports players about the extent to which industry employees should be able participate in fantasy sports contests on competitor sites. We’ve heard from users that they would appreciate more clarity about the rules for this issue. In the interim, while the industry works to develop and release a more detailed policy, DraftKings and FanDuel have decided to prohibit employees from participating in online fantasy sports contests for money.

That statement also appeared at FanDuel’s website.

Also of note, on the same day that this new temporary policy was put in place, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles intimated in an interview with Fortune, that he played at DraftKings. (The interview appeared to have taken place before any of this weekend’s revelations):

Fortune: You’ve tried out DraftKings too, I imagine?

Eccles: Yeah—with DraftKings I seem to lose all the time.

Sunday, October 4th

The story did not gain traction until a story at DFS Report noted that Haskell also won $350,000 playing at FanDuel that week (without accusing him of actually cheating). The story then started to gain traction, and elicited a response via proxy from DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish.

That statement came via RotoGrinders founder Cal Spears, at the RG forums:

Spoke with Matt Kalish, one of the founders of DraftKings. There is a statement coming Monday that will outline all of the procedures in place to protect this data. It sounds like there will be a couple of new policies that will completely prevent this from being an issue in the future.

Kalish continued to communicate via Spears, confirming that DraftKings did not believe the data Haskell leaked had any impact on game integrity:

Kalish looked at the logs and confirmed that Ethan’s report was queried around 2 ET. Again, this is probably not going to help with the conspiracy theory minded crowd because they will think “what else would DK say?”

And then:

Kalish told me the statement Monday will detail how this information is currently protected from employees. It will also detail new policies for employess playing on other sites that will make everyone much more comfortable.

As of Tuesday, no new policies had been announced to the public by DraftKings.

Sunday, September 27th

DraftKings written content manager Ethan Haskell confirms that he unintentionally posted data about user lineups at DraftKings before it should have been made public, but after all contests started at FanDuel. His post came on RotoGrinders.com:

Hi All,

As Cal mentioned – this was published in error originally by myself. I’ve fixed the error and we’ll be putting checks in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As Cal mentioned, I was the only person with this data and as a DK employee, am not allowed to play on site. 100% my fault and I apologize for any issues.

Ethan

Haskell, as a DraftKings employee, was not allowed to play at DraftKings. According to a DraftKings investigation, he did not have access to the data a time that would have helped him set his lineups when entering contests at FanDuel.

Staff
- Various members of our writing staff contributed to this article.