Wednesday October 14,2015 : AMAYA PULLS D.F.S. SUBSIDIARY OUT OF FLORIDA
Speculation that the convening of a Grand Jury spurred departure of StarsDraft.
Media sources in Florida speculated Monday that the withdrawal from the state of Amaya's StarsDraft daily fantasy sports operation was motivated by last week's news that a Grand Jury had been convened in Tampa to examine DFS activity .
StarsDraft players reported receiving an email advising the exit and commenting:
"For now, we are not able to accept deposits or allow Florida users to enter contests. Florida customers will have access to login to their accounts and the ability to request withdrawals via the StarsDraft platform.
"As one of the most licensed online gaming operators in the world, we review each potential DFS market on a case-by-case basis. Please know this decision was not made lightly. We will continue to review the opportunity to provide StarsDraft in Florida and hope to be able to offer StarsDraft to our Florida customers with clarity and confidence in the future."
In related news, the "insider" row that has embroiled DFS operators DraftKings and FanDuel has seemingly done little to damage business; the Bloomberg business news agency reports that this past weekend DraftKings and FanDuel combined took in a total of nearly $44 million in “entry fees” from more than seven million entries in their big tournaments.
However, the fall-out from the issue continued, with the New York Times reporting on allegedly questionable behaviour by employees that included:
* A DraftKings executive who tipped off a regular punter against making a particular roster move using information he knew he shouldn’t have shared;
* The same punter subsequently discovered that a rival regularly challenging his bets on FanDuel was a business planning manager at DraftKings;
* A DraftKings analytics manager who won $50,000 first prize in a FanDuel fantasy hockey contest;
* A FanDuel manager responsible for setting player prices is reportedly a major DFS player who recently won $50,000 in the DraftKings King of Boston competition. That's a significant win compared to average winnings that are in the $20 range, and the DraftKing's employee who started the furore, Ethan Haskell, reportedly won $350,000 in a FanDuel competition
The Times does note that daily fantasy sports operators often recruit successful DFS players as employees, and although both FanDuel and DraftKings have now banned employees from playing, it was common practice in the past, with some staffers making more money in competitions than on their salaries.