NFL embraces fantasy football company despite increasing criminal probes


Despite the shocking announcements by an employee at DraftKings, one of the two major fantasy sports  companies, had mistakenly released data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games, the NFL is sticking with the DraftKings with which it has major deals. The employee, a midlevel content manager, won $350,000 at a rival site, FanDuel, that same week.

In addition,  DraftKings and FanDuel allowed their employees,  with information not available to customers, to play at each other’s sites and win large amounts of money continued to rattle the sports world. Sounds a bit like insider trading.

In addition, The New York attorney general began an inquiry Tuesday into whether employees of daily fantasy football sites have won lucrative payouts based on inside information requesting, DraftKings and FanDuel to producefor a range of internal data and details on how they prevent fraud.

The N.F.L., which recently struck a three-year deal with DraftKings to become a partner of the league’s International Series in Britain, simply declined to comment. This month, the NFL Players’ Association announced that it had signed a licensing deal with DraftKings, which allowed the league’s top rated players to appear in campaigns and commercials for the company. Both DrafKings and FanDuel spent a combined $31 million for over 9,000 TV spots during NFL’s kickoff week. Interestingly, N.F.L. players and personnel are allowed to participate in the fantasy contests.

Draft Kings and FanDuels are hugely successful. DraftKings raised more than $300 million over the summer and FanDUel over $275 million. Experts say both companies have a wroth over $1 Billion.

Fantasy sports operate inside a loophole in the Internet Gamblling Enforcement Act of 2006 which outlaws online poker but permits fantasy play. As such, the industry is essentially unregulated.

Robert K. Kraft of the New England Patriots has a stake in DraftKings. 

On Wednesday, FanDuel announced that it was permanently banning its employees from playing daily fantasy games on any site, and was prohibiting employees of other companies from playing on its site.




Questions now remain as to who else has made significant sums through insider information and will this be revealed. Stay tuned.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers