Another week and another set of problems for daily sports fantasy company owners, DraftKing and FanDuel. One NFL player is suing the one of the companies for using his name in game offerings while at least one state is thinking of slapping regulations on the two companies while criminal investigations continue.
Despite the positive spins league commissioners are putting on DraftKings and FanDuel for theoretically expanding interest in the various leagues in the so-called game of skill, there are many who are no longer buying that daily fantasy sports is a game of skill but are calling it for what it is, sports gambling. Pierre Garcon filed a class action suit against FanDuel and Garcon’s problem is simple. The company he alleges is using his name and likeness to promote the business without Garcon’s permission and probably Garcon wants to be compensated as well. That charge is nothing to dismiss in the sports world. NHL players went on strike in 1992 partly because they received no money when the league used their names and faces in promoting the business and Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA for using the names and likenesses of former college players in video games without compensation. DraftKings and the National Football League Players Association have a deal in place that enables DraftKings to utilize players’ names and likenesses.
New Jersey lawmakers are thinking of legislation that would make the daily sports leagues games classified as gambling which would put the NFL in a bind because the league has successfully shut down a sports book at New Jersey casinos even though voters in 2011 said yes to a New Jersey sports book. Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Georgia are taking a close look at the so-called games of skill and there are many other investigations but leagues have adopted Alfred E. Neuman’s MAD Magazine motto on fantasy sports of What Me Worry despite all the investigations and law suits.
I’m Evan Weiner for the Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner