Saturday January 23,2016 : WILL DRAFTKINGS CHANGES PLACATE LAWMAKERS?
Consumer protection measures to be implemented next week.
Players who use the DraftKings daily fantasy sports site received emails Friday confirming earlier rumours that the company is about to make consumer protection-related changes as pressure from lawmakers in the US mounts.
The email set a January 29 target date for the changes to come into effect and revealed that these include a ban on third party scripting tools with the launch of "a new tool that makes it easier for players to enter their DraftKings lineups."
The email was supported by a press statement from the company headed "Change in Automated Tools Policy" which purports to enhance the DraftKings platform and protect players.
"With the implementation of this new tool, effective January 29, 2016, DraftKings will prohibit the use of scripts and other automated means of interacting with our site," the statement advises. "Though all customers were previously allowed to use scripts, going forward, all users must use only the tools available on the DraftKings site to submit lineups, enter contests, and perform all site activity."
See the statement here: http://playbook.draftkings.com/press/draftkings-statement-12216/
Banning the use of third part scripting tools is a controversial issue that will earn the company both praise and criticism, depending on the type of player.
High volume ‘shark' players are less likely to applaud a ban on the sophisticated external lineup programs that many use to profit from their DFS activity, whilst less frequent, inexperienced and perhaps amateur players will see the move as levelling the playing field a little more.
DraftKings has advised that further changes on the consumer protection theme will be made as necessary or required going forward.
In a sense, the DraftKings move replicates trends in the poker vertical to focus more on the recreational player despite the business that minority high-volume players tend to generate.
Analysing the changes, ESPN noted that in a further recreational player-friendly move, DraftKings will in the near future also start tagging the shark players, enabling less skilled and experienced players to avoid them in head to head and smaller competition clashes.
The publication reported that there will additionally be entry limits on some GPPs (guaranteed prize pools) and that in some cases these will involve the restriction of multiple entries and/or the exclusion of tagged shark players, again diluting their impact on recreational punters.
Several of the changes can be correlated with consumer protection recommendations made recently by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey after a study of the DFS vertical requested by state politicians .
FanDuel, as the main rival to DraftKings, will no doubt be studying the changes closely, but its intentions are not yet clear. ESPN reports that the company recently stopped including win totals on player profile pages, presumably to make it harder for sharks to identify weaker players.