Could DraftKings, FanDuel joining forces help sports betting?
Daily fantasy betting giants DraftKings and FanDuel are discussing a possible merger, according to Bloomberg.com and multiple media sources.
The fantasy sports operators have been in and out of court for one reason or another since the insider trading scandal first exploded during football season last year.
New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman famously declared fantasy sports as illegal gambling back in November of last year. The AGs in Idaho and Texas were not far behind and also ruled that DFS is considered unlawful gambling. Not every state is in agreement; in fact Mississippi legalized daily fantasy sports last month.
The dynamic duo joining forces would allow them to pool their resources as they battle the legality of their games in court against states like Idaho, New York, and Texas.
Many in the sports betting industry as well as the political spectrum have pointed out that fantasy sports gambling is not far removed from betting on individual games, and that there is a great deal of hypocrisy in daily fantasy sports receiving an exemption from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). "It's a distinction without a difference," quipped New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak during an interview with SBR.
The daily fantasy sites have argued that they are perfectly legal thanks to the UIGEA carveout, but that hasn't stemmed the flow of opposition at the state level.
In theory, DraftKings and FanDuel merging would allow the two to stop spending money competing vs. one another and focus solely on winning in court.
The longer there is a debate about fantasy vs. sports betting the better, as common sense dictates that at the end of the day, gambling is gambling, and Americans want to be able to legally bet whether on the performance of athletes or the outcome of a straight-up match.