BUSINESS

Monmouth Park inks DFS marketing deal; DFS endgame is real-money sports betting

TAGs: daily fantasy sports, DraftKings, fantasy sports, fantasy sports network, monmouth park

monmouth-park-fantasy-sports-networkNew Jersey’s Monmouth Park racetrack has struck a marketing partnership with the Fantasy Sports Network (FNTSY) to promote the track’s new daily fantasy sports product.

Monmouth biz-dev VP Bill Knauf said the partnership encompassed brand cross-promotion and development of an on-site presence at the track. Louis Malone, chief strategy officer of FNTSY parent company Anthem Media Group, said his firm would work with Monmouth to select a website game vendor to develop and operate all new games.

Monmouth announced plans to launch a fantasy product in November after its real-money sports beting plans were thwarted by US District Judge Michael Shipp. Monmouth originally planned to launch its fantasy offering in time for the Super Bowl but later revised that timeline to target the start of the NCAA March Madness tournament. The latest timeline is to be up and running by opening day of the 2015 Major League Baseball season.

DFS OPERATORS ENDGAME IS REAL-MONEY SPORTS BETTING?
Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that DFS operators are ultimately planning to convert their fantasy operations to real-money single-game sports betting.

University of Indianapolis sports marketing professor Laurence DeGaris told Bloomberg that DFS “delivers a similar fan experience to gambling, so I expect the current database of customers would provide a good foundation for sports gamblers.”

Market researchers Nielsen’s annual Year in Sports report said the number of DFS players rose five-fold last year to 5.1m, most of whom are men in their mid-30s or early 40s. The number of DFS players who play via mobile devices rose 847% to 3m.

Baruch College law professor Marc Edelman described DFS operators’ online platforms as “incredibly similar to sports books in casinos … And they were not designed that way by accident.” Edelman went as far as to label DFS “the gateway toward legalized, online sports gambling.”

Jason Robbins, CEO of DraftKings, played down suggestions of traditional sports betting aspirations, saying the concept was “so distant for me. It’s a possible benefit down the road, but I don’t think about it that much.” Of course, there is one crucial difference between these two worlds that may contribute to Robbins’ public distance. Unlike DFS, traditional sports betting operators can actually lose money, depending on how the ball bounces.

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