Roman “longbottom” Edmond is the 2015 FanDuel World Fantasy Football Champion, winning $3m in the process; 66% of New Yorkers believe the game is illegal, and Canada start to take an interest in their backyard.
Canada could be the next country to adopt a closer look into the murky waters of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) according to an article written by Amanda Colette in the National Post.
In the article, Paul Burns, vice-president of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is quoted as highlighting the need to take heed from the current shenanigans in the US by clarifying their own laws. The article also notes that offshore betting sites, offering DFS to Canadians, pulls between $4-5 billion out of the country whereas a much smaller $500m goes on legal sports lotteries organised by the provinces.
Stats from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association shows that 57 million people play DFS in North America, and that figure is an upward trend. Thus far there have been no substantial moves to take this matter to court, unlike New York, where DFS giants FanDuel and DraftKings are currently at war. A ruling against either outlet could result in their demise as New York business makes up 10% of their overall player pool.
There is also a warning to Canadian players to keep a watchful eye on the New York situation with the article citing the possibility of seizure of player funds, similar to what happened to the online poker industry post-Black Friday.
“If you are dealing with someone who is unregulated, you have no recourse against the company if something goes wrong,” Chad Finkelstein, a partner at Canadian legal counsel Dale & Lessmann, writes in the National Post. “There is no government body that is going to back you up. You actually have to start a private civil action against that company, and good luck doing that.”
That New York Case
There is still no movement beyond what was last reported, but Siena Research Institute has released a poll, that might go some way as to explaining public feeling over the current battle for the rights to play DFS legally in New York.
Or maybe not?
It’s believed there are between 2.5 and 3.5 million DFS players in the Big Apple. So when a research team grabs 822 of them, 97% of which admits to never playing DFS, then there is a hearty argument that the results of the poll are about as reliable as a recently castrated bull in the world domino championships.
The study group questioned 822 voters during a five-day period Dec 6-10, and 66% of them sided with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when asked if they believed DFS is gambling and, therefore, illegal activity in the state.
Of those aged 35 or under, 49% agreed with Schneiderman and 51% didn’t. Unsurprisingly, 75% of those aged 55+ sided with the Attorney General. There again 30% of those questioned had a favourable opinion of him, 22% not so much, and 49% couldn’t give a monkey’s one way of the other.
In Nov, Schneiderman sent cease & desist letters to both DraftKings and FanDuel, before asking Supreme Court to prevent either company from doing business in the state by granting a preliminary injunction. Judge Manuel Mendez did that, but later on, that same day a state of appeals court issued a reprieve. FanDuel stopped operating in the state immediately but have since started up again. DraftKings remain in defiant operation.
The two companies can continue to operate in the state until Jan 4, 2016, by which time I guess someone somewhere would have made a decision on the matter.
And in San Diego
If you wondered why millions of people are spending billions of dollars playing DFS, then look no further than the recent FanDuel World Fantasy Football Championships held in the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego this weekend.
The tournament generated $12m in prize money, created prizes for the 120 finalists, and also created three millionaires including the winner: Roman “longbottoms” Edmond, who took the $3m first prize.
Thanks to all for the support in my journey. I am honored to win the fanduel’s WFFC and look forward to being an ambassador to the industry.
— Roman Edmond (@nitchguy) December 14, 2015
Talking to DFS site RotoGrinders moments after picking up his winning check he said, “I am still trying to process things. The whole event and the people rooting me on were inspirational. I am thankful and happy. This is a collective win for myself and other grinders out there.”
Edmond’s success hinged on the performance of St. Louis Rams running back, Todd Gurley, whom Edmond called his ‘secret assassin’.
“I talked to my wife two weeks ago and said I was on Todd Gurley,” Edmond told Rotogrinders, “I said he is the one who is going to push me over the edge. If I go into the top position, and it’s because of Todd Gurley, I will get a tattoo of his name.”
When asked what he would do with the money, he replied, “I want to get more into DFS. This money gives me the opportunity to be more vocal and an ambassador for the game.”
The DFS industry certainly needs the support more than Edmond needs a tattoo of a big burly NFL star on his body.