With DraftKings and FanDuel facing legal challenges from the state to the federal level, it’s only natural for their partners to start taking second looks at daily fantasy. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is one of those people.
At a fan event before the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday, Goodell took questions and one was on daily fantasy. The commish made the statement that the focus should be on season-long fantasy games instead of daily games:
“We see a big distinction between season-long fantasy and daily fantasy,” Goodell said in response to a question from a fan. “Season-long fantasy is (what) many people probably play in this room and it’s fun, it’s social, it’s an opportunity to enjoy the game.
“We encourage our kids to do it and they have clubs at school and it’s a way to connect people. And we think that’s a wonderful way. Daily fantasy’s taken a little different approach, and it’s one that we have not been as active in that. We want to make sure that we understand how it’s going to be done.”
When asked whether daily fantasy could effect the integrity of the game, Goodell opined:
“That’s my No. 1 concern, and that’s why we’ve opposed legalizing gambling.
“The daily fantasy is different in this sense: It’s essentially the player actually plays and picks whatever players they want, they do that independently and it’s sort of a mash-up of those players. So it really would be difficult to have that ‘influence’ that we are worried about with gambling in general.”
The NFL does not have a sponsorship agreement nor invests in either DraftKings or FanDuel, but some individual teams have done so. With the State of New York targeting both companies saying daily fantasy is illegal gambling, the state of their games is under question and there’s doubt on their validity.
Goodell said he wants to ensure players in daily fantasy have proper consumer protection. As daily fantasy limps along, Goodell who originally wasn’t concerned about daily fantasy effecting the outcome to the game is now taking a cautious approach to the industry and waits to see how the legal challenges play out.