As the daily fantasy industry deals with various and assorted attacks on its business model, a new threat has emerged. And this one could pull the NFL directly into the middle of the burgeoning mess.
Fresh off the press from TheHill.com, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) has asked FanDuel and DraftKings to identify all “players, coaches, referees, training personnel and team staff and owners” who have used either website within the last year.
For those that are not in the know, league personnel ARE permitted to play daily fantasy games. BUT, they are NOT permitted to receive more than $250 in cash or prizes.
According to TheHill’s article, DraftKings personnel have stated that they have received the letter, and they are “committed to working with all relevant authorities to ensure that our industry operates in a manner that is completely transparent and fair for all consumers, so that they can continue to play the games they love.”
FanDuel did not respond to a request for comment from TheHill.com.
Until Pallone’s request, the concerns about inside information have been primarily related to the employees of both DraftKings or FanDuel in their “acquisition” of proprietary data and using the data in contests on rival platforms. With his request, Pallone now sets the target on the broader question of the usage of such inside information by people who are in a direct position to know about and/or to influence the actual performance of a given player in a given game.
If those folks are actually participating in DFS games, that can become a major problem for the industry — and for the NFL.
It’s also possible that league personnel are funneling inside information to family members or friends, which could have the same impact on the integrity of the fantasy games but which would be as a practical matter much harder to detect.
We can now fairly say that the plot has definitely thickened in the DFS query, and now with Washington, getting involved, both DraftKings and FanDuel, and on the outside, the NFL, will now enter the murky waters of Capitol Hill.