“This Week In Daily” is ODFReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.
Stories of note
The legal landscape for DFS has the possibility of shifting a great deal, if a pair of recently proposed bills in Texas are passed. The two companion pieces of legislation would require sports betting and DFS websites to be licensed if they operate in Texas.
It’s actually amazing that this type of legislation hasn’t come up more often as states look at DFS — and particularly as they look for ways to capture revenue from the sites. One of the bills includes language about “licensing fees.” It is not the first time this year that revenue and DFS has been discussed at the state level.
- Indiana had a bill proposed earlier this year that would license racinos to offer fantasy games, but no action has been taken after its introduction.
- Iowa is looking to legalize DFS — it is one of the states where it is considered illegal — and the issue of revenue came up in a debate in the state legislature.
The impetus behind the Texas bills isn’t known yet — nor can we handicap their chances of passing. But the legislation clearly requires monitoring by anyone with a stake in the DFS industry.
NFL and Fantasy
More sponsorship dominoes fell this week, as the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens signed deals with FanDuel. The Rams’ deal is reportedly for three years. The new additions to FanDuel’s roster mark the fifth and sixth NFL franchises to gain a fantasy sports partner (Washington Redskins for FanDuel; Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots for DraftKings.)
Interestingly, a report out this week also said the NFL told teams they should only sign one-year deals with fantasy sports partners. We’re not sure if the Rams deal was already in place before this edict came down, or if the initial report just meant that teams should always sign deals that allow them to opt out after one year.
If true, is the one-year deal mandate part of some larger plan or strategy for the NFL in terms of DFS, or is this just a stopgap while the NFL figures out what it wants to do next? Only time well tell.
Of the week
Read(s) of the week
The parallels and cross-over between poker and daily fantasy sports have been around as long as DFS. But it seems like it has been popping up more in recent weeks. Here at ODFReport, we took a look at the complicated relationship between DFS and online poker. And this month, a major player in online poker — iBus Media — announced it was getting into the DFS industry.
The latest evidence came from a pretty well-known pro in the poker world — Tony Dunst, also known by his online handle, “bond_18.” Known for his poker-playing acumen and as a personality on televised World Poker Tour events, Dunst blogs about DFS: “During the past nine months I’ve found something I enjoy doing almost as much as playing poker and it takes the form of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).”
It’s certainly interesting to see someone as active, visible and respected in the poker world as Dunst talking in-depth about DFS. It seems inevitable that we’ll be seeing more of the poker-DFS intersection in the near future.
An interesting read about Yahoo, which is one of the behemoths of seasonlong fantasy sports. Instead of going in the popular direction — money has been piling up to back anything to do with real-money DFS — Yahoo is swimming against the current.
Eilers Research predicted that Yahoo would be staying on the sidelines in DFS this year, in its keynote at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association‘s winter conference. But with Yahoo not even offering cash contests for seasonlong fantasy, it seems safe to say the internet giant won’t be dabbling in DFS any time soon.
Tweets of the week
Paraphrasing Kindt: Online poker and daily fantasy sports (DFS) are gateway gambling drugs.
— Haley Hintze (@Haley_Hintze) March 25, 2015
–From the Congressional hearing on the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, a bill that would ban online gaming in the U.S. The testimony referred to in this tweet came from Professor John Kindt, University of Illinois.
Quote of the week
“Most importantly, passing SF166 will give 350,000 Iowa residents peace of mind they can participate in the fantasy sports contests without fear of heavy-handed laws that inhibit economic freedom and competition — bedrock American and Iowa values.”
—State Sen. Jeff Danielson and State Rep. Jake Highfill, in an op-ed in the Des Moines Register, talking about a bill to legalize DFS.
Number of the week
The number of North American sports franchises that have signed a sponsorship deal with FanDuel or DraftKings in the past six months.