Scandal has hit daily fantasy sports, and now ESPN is reporting that DraftKings employees are making roughly $6 million playing on rival FanDuel’s site.
The scandal broke after The New York Times reported that one DraftKings employee had admitted to “inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games.” That employee won $350,000 at FanDuel the same week.
DraftKings later issued a statement saying that it had conducted a “thorough investigation” and found that “this employee could not have used the information in question to make decisions about his FanDuel lineup.”
This still has left doubts in the minds of many as to what information employees at sites like DraftKings and FanDuel have access to, and if they are using that data to win money at rival sites. But one thing is clear: Whether they have insider information or not, DraftKings employees have been successful playing daily fantasy sports at FanDuel.
On ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” Darren Rovell reported that a FanDuel representative had provided data on how much money DraftKings employees had won at FanDuel.
“Their data shows that Draft Kings employees have won 0.3% of the money” won at the site, Rovell said. “FanDuel has given out in prizes close to $2 billion, according to my calculations.”
If DraftKings employees have indeed won 0.3% of nearly $2 billion, that would be close to $6 million won. Rovell put the number at “less than $10 million.”
What is not known is if that is net winnings – accounting for losses also – or just the gross winnings.
That is a big difference, but it would also seem that either number is significant.
According to research by Sports Business Daily, over one three-month stretch 91% of the player profits at DraftKings and FanDuel were won by just 1.3% of the players.
There are still plenty of unknowns in the daily-fantasy-sports industry, and that is the biggest problem. More transparency is needed and, without regulation, it is not clear when that will arrive.
We have asked DraftKings and FanDuel for comment.