“This Week In Daily” is ODFReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.
Stories of note
FanDuel = $1 Billion?
According to the Fortune report: “The goal would be to accelerate customer acquisition and pro sports partnership efforts, with an eye toward going public in 2016.”
The speculation of a possible IPO for FanDuel is nothing new, but the latest news demonstrates the rapid growth of the DFS industry in general and FanDuel in specific. Just three years ago, FanDuel was trying to raise seven figures at a time, and the company’s valuation was obviously dwarfed by current estimates.
More analysis from us here, on what the new round of fundraising means for the industry. The takeaway? FanDuel is trying to shut the door on its competition with another big push.
The Kansas plan
Kansas isn’t generally considered a “gray” jurisdiction in terms of daily fantasy sports legality — FanDuel and DraftKings both accept players from the state. But Kansas was in the spotlight this week, as Rep. Brett Hildabrand introduced legislation that would make fantasy sports legal.
So if DFS sites already allow players from Kansas to play for real money, why the need for the bill? The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission believes DFS is an “illegal lottery” under state law, although the KRGC insists no one is targeting DFS players.
Hildabrand’s bill would simply take the current climate in Kansas and codify it with an actual law, instead of relying on a prevailing trend.
Of the week
Read(s) of the week
We guess it’s not surprising that someone would come up with doing a “boot camp” for playing daily fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports Combine — a three-day event with a pricetag of $1,000 a ticket — will take place in Las Vegas in July. It’s obviously trying to drive some traffic with its name based on the NFL Scouting Combine, which is taking place this week.
The event features former NFL coaches Mike Ditka and Mike Shanahan, along with some players you’ve probably heard of (football players Brandon Marshall, Von Miller, Miles Austin and Kyle Orton; basketball player Chauncey Billups; baseball player Adam Dunn).
It’s certainly an interesting idea, but we’re not sure we’re buying the estimates of 1,500 to 2,000 attendees. You can check out more details of the event at the official website.
A bill legalizing real-money fantasy sports in Iowa has been making progress in the state legislature. But this piece from Keith Miller, who teaches gaming law at Drake University, might be pumping the brakes on that momentum. Right now, Iowa is one of five states where most DFS sites do not operate.
Miller isn’t necessarily saying Iowa shouldn’t move ahead with the legislation, although he lumps fantasy sports in with forms of gambling in his op-ed. He does say the argument that “everyone is already playing fantasy sports” shouldn’t drive policy, which is certainly a fair point.
So far there had been little opposition to the Iowa legislation, so it will be interesting to see what kind of impact a dissenting voice might have.
Watch of the week
A panel called “How Daily Fantasy Sports Changed the Game” was a part of this week’s #SportsConf, a series of online discussions on how technology and other factors are affecting the sports industry:
Tweet of the week
Word is Fanduel is refusing to value themselves at a billion dollars. Instead they prefer a valuation of “Two Hundred Million #5”.
— DHP (@DHP) February 18, 2015
Quote of the week
“I played fantasy baseball and fantasy football when it wasn’t cool, way back when I was in middle school. It’s been amazing to see the growth of it, especially throughout my career, and the impact it has on the sport. When people leave this event, they’ll have learned something and they’ll have had a blast.”
—Former NFL wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who will be one of the pro athletes attending the Fantasy Sports Combine in July.
Number of the week
The amount of money FanDuel is trying to raise, which is more than the entire daily fantasy sports industry generated in revenue in 2014. It would also represent more capital than FanDuel has raised over its entire history.