The blows keep coming for DraftKings and FanDuel. Thursday, the beleaguered daily fantasy operators announced they would stop offering contests involving college sports once the NCAA Tournament is completed on Monday, according to ESPN.
The voluntary decision by DraftKings and FanDuel comes after months of discussions between the daily fantasy sites, the NCAA, member institutions and various state legislatures.
“We appreciate and commend DraftKings and FanDuel’s action to stop offering contests involving college, high school and youth sports,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement issued Thursday. “This action culminates months of hard work between all parties to reach a place that is good for amateur sports and most importantly, the young people who participate. We will work diligently with our member schools over the coming year to ensure such amateur sports ‘carve outs’ are included in pending states’ legislation.”
It’s kind of hard to figure what the daily fantasy companies got out of these “months of hard work.” Though college sports represent only 3 percent of FanDuel revenue and a similarly small fraction of DraftKings’ revenue, according to ESPN, the losses are really piling up for the daily fantasy industry.
FanDuel and DraftKings are involved in tense legal battles in numerous states, and some have declared daily fantasy illegal. Both companies have stopped taking bets in New York, and FanDuel has pulled out of Texas amid reported layoffs.
The NCAA has been vocal in opposing daily fantasy for a while, notifying DraftKings and FanDuel they could not advertise during championship events like the NCAA Tournament. Via ESPN, Here’s what the companies had to say about Thursday’s agreement with the NCAA:
“[F]anDuel has had months of productive conversations with the NCAA, their member institutions and various state legislators to better understand their concerns around fantasy sports contests based on amateur athletics,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to ESPN. “It is clear that this is an issue that matters to a variety of constituencies and we feel that the best path forward is to suspend offering these contests pending resolution on the issue within state legislatures.”
“We continue to see tremendous support for fantasy sports in legislatures across the country, with nearly 30 states advancing thoughtful and appropriate regulations for fantasy play,” DraftKings said in its statement. “[W]e will work closely with the NCAA and lawmakers on a carve-out for collegiate sports in any proposed regulatory framework moving forward. DraftKings is committed to ensuring that fantasy sports players are able to continue to play these skill-based contests that bring them closer to the sports that they love.”