DraftKings and FanDuel recently made their case in a New York hearing that daily fantasy is a game of skill, and therefore should be considered legal in the state. To bolster their argument, they provided a number of statistics based on contest data which they hope will prove that the site’s professional players are not winning due to luck, but through complex analysis of lineups which gives them an edge against their more uninformed competition.
While attorneys for DFS industry leaders present their case to lawmakers in New York, a law firm recently conducted a study which shows that two-thirds of average daily fantasy players believe that the game is skill-based.
The Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Sports Law Group came to that conclusion after surveying 1,081 DFS players in the US over the Thanksgiving holiday. “The luck versus skill debate was a huge topic of conversation at many Thanksgiving tables last week,” said Herrick partner Daniel A. Etna. “With the majority of DFS players viewing the games as requiring skill, and several states aggressively pursuing their own regulations, the situation cries out for uniform nationwide regulation.”
Apart from its findings on the skill versus luck debate, the study found that, unsurprisingly, 55% of DFS players consume more sports media content when actively involved in creating fantasy lineups. The statistic is welcome news for the major leagues and publications like ESPN, which recently announced the loss of 7 million subscribers over the past two years.
“We found that DFS creates much more fan engagement, via interaction with sports websites, going to games and watching more sports on TV,” said Etna.
Additionally, 22% of those surveyed reported a significant increase in sports content consumption, with 33 reporting only a slight increase. Thirty-nine percent reported that daily fantasy played little to no part in their sports content consumption.
Backing claims with statistics
In the New York hearing, FanDuel and DraftKings presented a variety of statistics, aiming to convince the judge of their argument. One such study showed that around 50% of the prize money up for grabs on fantasy sites is won by just 1% of DraftKings’ and FanDuel’s user base.
Ironically, NY Attorney General Schneiderman has tried to use the same argument in his own case against the industry to prove that the majority of players have little chance of winning. But the argument inadvertently proves that DFS is a game of skill; if it were based solely on luck, prizes would be more evenly distributed to the sites’ customers.
The judge overseeing the case heard arguments from industry heavy hitters last week and promises to give a verdict on whether grant Schneiderman’s request to shut down the sites in New York immediately sometime in the near future.