DraftKings has decided that the activity that propelled it to the top of the charts in the sports gambling world is no longer as important. Both DraftKings and FanDuel got their starts by offering daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests and more, but DraftKings seems to be pulling away. It has suddenly and unexpectedly cut off DFS operations in Oregon, leaving more than a few fans and users unhappy. FanDuel doesn’t mind, though, as it is more than willing to open its arms to those players.
DraftKings Exits the DFS Space in Oregon
DraftKings abruptly turned off its DFS activity in Oregon yesterday, in part, according to the company, because there may be some concerns over the legality of DFS contests in the state. The real reason, however, is that the operator wants to cozy up more to regulators and score points with the Oregon Lottery. There has been talk about DraftKings taking over the Lottery-run Scoreboard sports betting platform, and eliminating any controversial activities will smooth things over with the decisionmakers.
While the operator, which has been rapidly setting up new DFS operations in other areas, reportedly doesn’t agree with the potential illegal status of DFS, it felt it would be more advantageous not to cause waves. It explained in an update it sent to users that, as it talks with the Oregon Lottery about transitioning Scoreboard to DraftKings’ platform, concerns were raised over the legality of DFS contests in the state and, while the operator still believes they’re legal under state law, it “has decided to stop paid fantasy sports contests in Oregon effective July 26, 2021, so those discussions may continue.”
DraftKings and the Oregon Lottery have been holding discussions for several months over the possibility of putting Scoreboard on the DraftKings platform. It currently runs on SBTech, which has had a troubled past in Oregon. A little more than a year ago, DraftKings successfully acquired SBTech, leading to the possibility that the Oregon Lottery would be able to break off its relationship with its partner. However, since the Lottery first acknowledged the possibility of a switch to DraftKings in February, no further progress was announced until now.
FanDuel Welcomes the News
FanDuel is more than happy to see DraftKings exit the DFS space in Oregon and is opening its arms wide to its rivals’ former customers. The operator has already confirmed that it isn’t going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future, and will enjoy its DFS monopoly in Oregon. FanDuel already controls the largest percentage of the sports betting market share in the US, and adding new DFS customers could give all of its digital gaming operations a boost going forward.
The question of whether DFS is legal in Oregon can’t be answered with just one word. There are no DFS laws in place in the state, but there has been growing concern that pressure to cut off the gaming segment could come. A bill to set the record straight was attempted in 2017, but failed, and the state’s attorney general has been silent on the subject. DraftKings doesn’t want to cause any undue hardships for itself as it looks to gain favor in the state, and the only way to do that is to keep its head down and not rock the boat.