DFS Effort Trying To Motivate Players To Action
Legal Sports Report

FanDuel Looks To Spark Grassroots Advocacy Effort To Protect Daily Fantasy Sports

DFS grassroots
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FanDuel is attempting to spark a grassroots effort to help protect the the daily fantasy sports industry in the United States.

The effort comes as the federal government and more state officials have started scrutinizing daily fantasy sports and questioning whether the industry should be regulated.

Plans to activate wide-ranging support

The grassroots effort appears to be a full-court press to mobilize public sentiment and sway government officials around the country.

A person familiar with FanDuel’s plans indicated that the effort will span numerous platforms:

  • Customers in Nevada (which has said DFS sites must be licensed) and Pennsylvania (where DFS legislation appears likely to be considered this week) will be contacted via email regarding the effort.
  • FanDuel’s affiliate partnerships are being tapped to spread the word, as is the company’s vast content network.
  • The company’s radio partnerships including SiriusXM will be leveraged in the effort.
  • We may even see events or similar presence at professional sports stadiums utilized in the campaign.

At the top level, a DFS petition

The most visible portion of the effort at this stage is a petition FanDuel has put up online; you can view and sign the petition here.

Here is the petition that FanDuel, which requires signees to give their name, email address and a ZIP code:

Every year 50 million Americans play online fantasy sports. I am one of them.

There are many problems facing our nation, but passionate sports fans that want to connect with our favorite players and teams is hardly one of them.

Fantasy sports is fundamentally a test of knowledge. I play because I love the competition and the camaraderie. In fact, I think fantasy sports is what makes watching sports an American pastime.

I oppose any measure that would ban online fantasy sports. And to anyone looking to end this game I say: Let us play!

View the petition here.

The campaign will also use the hashtag #LetThemPlay on social media to promote the effort.

DraftKings contacted customers in Nevada this weekend with a request to participate in similar advocacy effort fronted by the FSTA. FanDuel sent the same FSTA link to their Nevada customers prior to the start of the LetThemPlay campaign.

Can a grassroots movement move the needle?

This is the critical question at the heart of the effort.

The universe of active, paying DFS players who might somehow be activated is likely in the millions:

  • DraftKings recently said it had 4.5 million users, although it’s clear not all of these would fall into the “active, paying” category that might be swayed to action.
  • An analysis from Eilers Research estimated that nearly four million unique real-money players will take part in DFS in 2015.

If a large number of these players can be moved to action, it might be enough to get the attention of elected officials around the country.

View the petition here.

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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