This week, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles confirmed that FanDuel would be adding daily fantasy golf contests in the near future.
Two months ago, FanDuel added English Premier League soccer contests. Now FanDuel has announced that they will be adding golf as well. The news broke earlier this week via a Yahoo Finance interview with FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles.
There has been no specific time fame mentioned for when the contests will go live.
FanDuel’s Caution Towards Daily Fantasy Golf
Before adding EPL in October and the upcoming introduction of golf, FanDuel had only previously offered only support for the four major sports – NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Within the next 11 months, FanDuel and DraftKings are slated to merge. As that merger with DraftKings nears, FanDuel appears to be making steps towards a unified platform. DraftKings currently offers daily fantasy golf, along with mid-tier sites such as FantasyDraft and FantasyAces.
The company had previously shied away from adding DFS golf for a couple reasons. First, it lacked the wide appeal of other major sports and also posed a unique legal dilemma. Daily fantasy football and basketball represented 80% of FanDuel’s revenues, so the decision seemed easy from FanDuel’s standpoint. After DraftKings launched the games in 2015 the contests showed some surprising appeal — and the regulatory environment also started to move in the right direction.
FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said the company had been looking at golf for awhile. “We were mindful of the regulatory environment, but now we have states passing laws and really setting the boundaries of what we can and can’t do. We think there’s a golf product we can do that would be compliant with that and be an awesome experience.”
The Multiple Events Dilemma
The fear for FanDuel was that PGA events wouldn’t necessarily meet the requirement of “multiple events,” which is mentioned in the UIGEA carve-out bill that legalized fantasy sports. Now that the trend seems to be moving in favor of states legalizing DFS, FanDuel and DraftKings are apparently becoming more comfortable with the definitions.
It also helps that FanDuel have come up with an apparent solution to the multiple events issue, which is different to how DraftKings currently structures its contests. Although the full rules and structure have not been released, the following nugget info was unveiled in the Yahoo Finance piece.
“FanDuel players, when they enter a golf contest, will select two different group of golfers, one for rounds 1 and 2 of a tournament and one for rounds 3 and 4—perhaps an attempt to satisfy the “multiple events” concern. On DraftKings, players draft one roster of golfers for the full length of a tournament.”
This is an approach that would likely anger some players, especially given that DraftKings would probably follow suit at some point. But in a world where the alternative is no daily fantasy golf, it might be the best option for players and DFS sites.
DraftKings and FanDuel – Eventually As One?
With the addition of daily fantasy soccer and daily fantasy golf, FanDuel will now offer support for six different sports. But they will still fall short of DraftKings, which also offers NASCAR, MMA, CFL and eSports. College sports contests were previously offered but were removed.
As the two sites continue the merge process, it’s reasonable to believe that eventually that both sites will offer the same selection of sports. This is especially true if both sites merge player pools and software, which seems likely, if not inevitable.
Still questions remain of whether the legal concerns that presented itself with golf are even more apparent with NASCAR. Marc Edelman, an attorney that has consulted for DFS companies stated that golf “is not as absurd under the current laws as is fantasy NASCAR.”
But with both companies moving closer towards unification and an apparent preference to DraftKings, NASCAR could be the next sport to come to FanDuel.