Daily fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel are back in the state of Delaware – just in time for the Sept. 7 NFL season kickoff.
The Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel are heading back to Delaware this Friday after House Bill 249 takes effect. Gov. John Carney’s signed enabling legislation last month to make Delaware the 14th state to legalize and regulate fantasy sports in the US.
Of course, it is a natural reaction for both FanDuel and DraftKings to become super excited to return to Delaware, especially when they think about the money they could earn from the state.
FanDuel Chief Financial Officer Andy Giancamilli told Delaware State News that they are “glad that we were able to work with the representatives in Delaware to find something that works with everybody and we’re able to bring fantasy sports to our players.”
DraftKings spokesman James Chisholm, likewise, echoed the sentiment of FanDuel, saying “It would certainly be fitting if a DraftKings player from the First State scored another history-making first and become fantasy sports’ first ever billionaire.”
HB 249, which legislators approved on June 30, amended the state’s lottery law to clarify that “interactive fantasy sports are not games of chance.”
The bill provides that fantasy sports aren’t “wagers on future contingent events not under the contestants’ control or influence” since the outcome isn’t relying on a single sporting event or the performance of a single athlete.
As a result, DFS no longer qualifies as illegal gambling under Delaware law.
The bill requires would-be Delaware DFS operators to pay the state an annual fee of $50,000, plus 15% of gross revenue derived from Delaware players. As a result, Delaware’s legal DFS market will most assuredly be out of reach to anyone other than the sector’s big boys, aka DraftKings and FanDuel.
To celebrate its return to Delaware, DraftKings dangled a $1 billion contest in week 1 of the NFL season, where the “lineup that scores the most DraftKings fantasy points that could possibly be scored within the salary cap and position requirements” wins its owner $1 billion.
Meanwhile, Giancamilli expressed optimism that Delawareans will support the fantasy sports platform, especially after they reportedly sent “thousands” of letters to state lawmakers asking them to approve fantasy sports betting.
“I think this is an industry that has a very passionate base of customers,” Mr. Giancamilli said.