Thursday, November 5, 2015 : MORE TROUBLE FOR DAILY FANTASY SPORTS GIANTS
Another political study, and more class action.
The troubles keep building for daily fantasy sport operators DraftKings and FanDuel as more politicians and legal firms jump on the bandwagon associated with the DFS "insider" scandal.
Indiana broadcaster WTTV reports that an Indianapolis law firm is trying to get complainants together for what will be the twentieth class action filed in the United States against DraftKings and FanDuel since the scandal erupted a month ago.
A spokesperson for the law firm told WTTV that the market leaders had spent big advertising and publicity money at the beginning of the US football season, claiming their product was a game of skill in which all paying entrants have an equal chance of winning significant cash prizes
"It turns out, unbeknownst to the customer, employees of Draft Kings have insider information that they obtained by virtue of working for Draft Kings. They then used that to go play Fan Duel, and win. Same thing was happening with FanDuel employees," the spokesperson claimed, urging injured Indiana players to get on board the action.
Meanwhile, Indiana politicians have reportedly started working on a study of DFS with a view to licensing the genre and taxing it at state level.
In related news, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said in a Bloombery business news interview that his company's planned public listing has been put on the backburner until there is more legislative clarity in the United States.
Eccles also shrugged off rumours of a merger between his company and rival DraftKings, saying that such a move would involve his company accepting some of the commercial deals in which DraftKings is involved, specifically a $250 million Fox Sports Network advertising agreement.
Taking a little stab at his rival, Eccles commented that whilst he could see a merger would be attractive to DraftKings, he could not understand why such an arrangement would benefit FanDuel.
Topping off an event-filled day, a Texas-based gaming developer titled Video Gaming Technologies Inc., has filed a legal action against FanDuel and DraftKings claiming patent infringement.
The Boston Herald reports that VGT is claiming that the patents for an interactive fantasy sports system were filed in the ‘nineties by one William W. Junkin. Whilst Junkin's connection with VGT is not clear, he is currently president of a fantasy sports platform titled Fantasy Sports.com, and was chief exec of a fantasy sports enterprise in the ‘nineties titled FantaSports.
The patents allegedly cover simulated or real-time participation in leagues and other features widely used by both the market leaders and other fantasy sports operators today, creating speculation that another round of questionable patent troll actions against successful companies a la Scott Lewis of 1st Technology could be developing.