DraftKings recently set the DFS player community abuzz with the rollout of its new Community Guidelines, which set forth what the site deems as “Acceptable” and “Unacceptable” behaviors for its users. The standards, which include the banning of utilizing lineups that are obtained from lineup sellers, seems to be drawing a mixed reaction from players well over a week after their existence was announced.
Diverging Opinions From Player Community
A thread on DFS fan hub Rotogrinders is currently seven pages long and growing, and features many of these diverging opinions. A good portion of users appear to feel the newly defined set of regulations is well-intentioned, and yet another example of DFS sites adapting to and embracing the legal environment that the industry now finds itself in, one where compliance and consumer protection are paramount.
However, others doubt the feasibility of enforcing some of the new rules, which include the prohibition of “team-building a lineup, or a set of complementary lineups which serve to work together, to execute a strategy that may create any unfair advantage over individual play”, colluding with a fellow player to exceed the maximum entry limit for a contest, and circumventing a head-to-head block from another user by having another DFS player enter your lineup in a matchup against that player.
One new provision that the overwhelming majority of commenters in the thread appear to be on board with, even as there are concerns over how thoroughly it can be enforced, is the ban on lineup purchasing and selling. Many DFS players have long groused about multiple identical lineups, presumably purchased from one of the plethora of lineup-selling sites that have flourished in recent years, frequently serving as a hindrance to them being able to reach a cashing position, particularly in contests such as 50/50s.
Conversely, there seems to be a certain pool of players who are skeptical of the motives and timing behind such a move. Some, such as RG member gridironguru99, expressed a belief that the new guidelines are “just total lip service before the big NFL season.” Others are questioning whether the initiative is just the latest nod by the industry to lawmakers in states that have yet to expressly legalize the games, one which ultimately may not have a great deal of substance or follow-up behind it.
There have also been some concerns voiced about the possibility of players getting falsely accused of utilizing a purchased lineup, if their roster happens to have a striking similarity to others that may been earmarked as stemming from a particular purveyor of lineups.
New Guidelines a Work in Progress
DraftKings has made it clear from their initial announcement that the new Community Guidelines only represent an initial phase, and that the company will be open to adapting these standards, as well as adding others, as situations arise. The company’s new Game Integrity and Ethics Team, of which the existence was also revealed when the Community Guidelines were made public, will be responsible for monitoring potentially suspicious or problem behavior on the site. A new e-mail inbox, firstname.lastname@example.org, will supplement that effort by providing users a secure method of reporting behavior from other users they feel may be in violation of the terms of the service and rules of fair play.
Part of Industry’s “New Normal”
All conspiracy theories and jaded thinking aside, the Community Guidelines and accompanying new initiatives designed to further game integrity appear to be yet another aspect of the “new normal” in the DFS landscape. Many of the new regulations essentially mirror requirements that are part of new state laws passed over the last few months regulating the industry.
Others, such as the ban on the turnkey solution of bypassing the lineup building process by purchasing one from a third party, clearly seem to be an effort to proactively address an issue that could easily be utilized by industry detractors to derail the skill-game argument that is integral to the ongoing push for widespread legal clarity.