DFS Operators Targeted By Illinois Sports Betting Amendments

April 1, 2019
DFS Operators Targeted By Illinois Sports Betting Amendments April 1, 2019 Fantasy Sport

Illinois is one of the many states that are looking at legalizing sports betting as legislators continue to work and review sports betting proposals. Even though sports betting is not yet legalized, the competition for market share is fierce as casinos in the state are looking to protect their interesting by ensuring that massive daily fantasy sports players like FanDuel and DraftKings are kept out.  

Paul Gaynor, a representative of Midwest Gaming & Entertainment who are one of the potential competitors in the Illinois sports betting market, pointed out that both DraftKings and FanDuel have already been accused by the state of being bad actors.

Gaynor is making reference to 2015 when the former Illinois Attorney General went after DFS operators on the basis that their contests were similar to online gambling and hence they needed a license to operate.

Should Illinois decide to legalize sports betting, it would provide FanDuel and DraftKings a great market to tap into. They could technically rule the Illinois sports betting market because as Gaynor points to the fact that they have an unfair advantage over the rest of the playing field due to their DFS operations in the state.

CBS Chicago

Gaynor points to the example of what the two operators have achieved in New Jersey, wherein the two companies dominated the sports betting landscape by taking 85 percent of all bets in New Jersey in January 2019.

This is why there are several supporters who want Amendment 5 passed as it will lock out both DraftKings and FanDuel from the Illinois sports betting market. This could be a massive blow to both DFS operators as Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the country and being locked out means a large market lost to both companies.

DraftKings and FanDuel Respond

In a statement, James Chisholm, DraftKings Director of Global Affairs, said

Amendment 5 is a blatant attempt to restrict competition and specifically box out potential operators they know will be major draws for consumers seeking out the best possible legal mobile sports betting experience. Establishing an artificial, restrictive market will only ensure that many Illinois residents will continue to bet through illegal offshore websites that offer no consumer protections, no responsible gaming measures and generate no revenue for the state.

FanDuel’s representative Cory Fox pointed out that the company was not a “bad actor” and has been operating in the state honestly and openly for years.

With the sports betting bill still up in the air, the two DFS companies will not give out without a fight!

Fantasy Sport

Fantasy Sport Administrator

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