ICE North America: Daily fantasy sports ‘isn’t going anywhere’ one year after PASPA overturn Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · May 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm BOSTON – The onslaught of sports betting across the country – a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on single-game wagers – hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for daily fantasy sports throughout the nation. A group of fantasy sports operators and promoters, who spoke on the topic during a panel discussion Wednesday at ICE North America, said the future for DFS remains bright, even with the onset and popularization of sports wagering. Peter Schoenke, president of Rotowire.com and chairman of the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, said the group’s research found that 92 percent of fantasy sports players will continue to play fantasy betting if it’s legalized in their state and 87 percent of those who only play fantasy said they would do so if sports betting were available. Some 80 percent said they would bet on sports if available. “You will see a ton of crossover, but the data shows they’re not going to quit fantasy sports,” Schoenke said. “It’s a hobby they love.” Doug Kezirian, sports betting analyst and host of the Daily Wager on ESPN, said he tells people sports betting wasn’t invented a year ago. Daily fantasy was already co-existing with sports betting, which was illegal except for Nevada prior to the Supreme Court ruling. “When the ban (on sports betting) was removed, I don’t think much changed,” Kezirian said. “I think it will continue to flourish and be part of the average person’s day-to-day behavior. The legalization is not going to take away that space.” Panelists cited the difference between fantasy sports and its focus on individual performance rather than team play. Also, customers can wager very little and win million-dollar jackpots or other large prizes. It’s hard to hit a big parlay in football, they said. Greg Karamitis, senior vice president of fantasy sports for DraftKings, said his company saw how fantasy sports had performed in Nevada in the past. They’ve also launched a sports book in New Jersey, and their fantasy product has continued to grow. “There are some that switched over and go primary to sports, but the vast majority playing fantasy continue to play,” Karamitis said. “There was a theory that they would do one or the other, but the products are so different and offer different value propositions.” Daniel Haight, head of paid gaming for Yahoo Sports, said some had concerns that the emergence of daily fantasy play would cannibalize the season-long fantasy, but that hasn’t happened. Season-long fantasy continues to grow and is a strong industry. “I agree that there’s room for both moving forward,” Haight said. “As a company, we are leaning into not just DFS but other forms of paid fantasy.” As for fantasy in Europe, Schoenke said cultural differences have prevented it from spreading as it has in the U.S. He cited how American sports fans, because of the sports they watch, are more into player statistics that are a large part of game. Statistics aren’t a large part of soccer, he said. Karamitis said daily fantasy became popular in the U.S. because they had enough players, especially for NFL contests to have large prizes. DFS didn’t have the same ability in Europe because more players were needed but there’s been steady growth, and it takes time and marketing investment. What’s popular in Europe from a fantasy perspective is golf because there are enough players for large prize, Karamitis said. Haight said they opened in the United Kingdom for a year and stopped and cited how it takes a marketing to grow the game.