- A daily fantasy sports operator Underdog Fantasy released a statement following recent scrutiny from pick’em style games.
- Underdog Founder and Co-CEO Jeremy Levine said that “FanDuel and DraftKings are scared of competition” and blame them for Underdog falling under attack.
- Levine claims that Underdog abides by the laws of a daily fantasy contest based on three characteristics.
WASHINGTON – Following increasing pushback from regulated sportsbooks and state regulators, daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator Underdog Fantasy fought back against FanDuel and DraftKings sports betting monopoly.
Underdog Founder and Co-CEO Jeremy Levine claims that legal sports betting giants FanDuel and DraftKings are the source of heated attention toward daily fantasy sports. Levine said this negative attention towards Underdog “is not organic – it’s being directly fueled by the companies with a virtual monopoly in sports gaming: FanDuel and DraftKings.”
Levine is right about the sports betting monopoly, as DraftKings and FanDuel have a hold on nearly 80% of the U.S. sports betting market, let alone fantasy. The Underdog founder didn’t hold back regarding the negatives of FanDuel and DraftKings’ sports betting monopoly, claiming that “FanDuel and DraftKings are squeezing the wallets of American sports fans by steadily increasing their fees and profit rates, while limiting successful players, as they pursue total control of the sports gaming market.”
Perhaps influenced by DraftKings and FanDuel, state regulators in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York started to look into the daily fantasy contests that resemble sports betting. A player outside of one of the states with legal sports betting such as California or Texas could’ve made a wager on Shohei Ohtani to throw over 6.5 strikeouts on Wednesday night, the same as someone using FanDuel in New York could have.
Underdog is Confident in Their Legal Operation
However, Underdog clarified the laws that make a daily fantasy sports contest legal in the release based on three characteristics.
- A game based on skill
- Use predictions on two or more athletes from different teams
- Have the outcomes based upon those athletes’ accumulated statistics in real- world contests.
This daily fantasy sports legal framework creates the distinction between DFS and sports betting; which is the reason why Underdog is available in states with and without legal sports betting.
Jeremy Levine provided evidence of the fantasy operators’ legality in Underdog’s press release, claiming that “Regulators across the country – including in states where mobile sports betting is also legal – have concluded our games perfectly fit within the legal definition of fantasy sports. This includes determinations in Arizona, Colorado, and Indiana, where the same regulators oversee both fantasy and betting, that our products are fantasy contests. Just this year, the North Carolina Legislature reaffirmed that Pick’em is a fantasy contest, not sports betting. And the Alabama Attorney General, who regulates fantasy sports in a state that is notoriously adverse to gambling, agreed with us that single-player fantasy contests are legal under the state’s fantasy sports law.”
With legal Alabama sports betting only available through online sportsbooks, daily fantasy sports operators like Underdog provides a similar experience but only with combo player prop projections.
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Zach graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Writing, Editing, and Media. Zach is interested in the legalization aspect of sports betting and enjoys participating in DFS. He has a passion for sports writing and most enjoys writing about football and baseball both professional and collegiate.