Buyer Beware: Fantasy sports scandal

By Alyssa Davis | Posted October 22, 2015

Another day. another sports scandal. Th is time in the form of fantasy football.

Two major daily fantasy sports websites, FanDuel and DraftKings, are under scrutiny after they were accused of insider trading during week three of the National Football League.

The scandal surfaced after an employee of DraftKings, Ethan Haskell, accidentally released information prior to the finalization of each team’s lineups. It is alleged, by the New York Times who broke the story, that employees were playing in competitor leagues, for example FanDuel employees were using DraftKings, and were placing bets using information unavailable to the public.

The data showed which players were most utilized in all the lineups for DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker contest. Having this information could provide an unfair advantage.

The same week of the data leak Haskell won $350,000 using FanDuel.

Fantasy sports sites are popular among young adults so The Tower took to the Cougar Walk to get opinions on this newest discrediting sports incident.

Some were wary of daily fantasy leagues from the beginning.

“I don’t use FanDuel or DraftKings because I like to save my money,” junior Steve Gibki said. “I have a few friends who use it and they like it when they win $40 here and there but they get mad when they lose, which happens more often.”

News of the scandal didn’t shock Gibki, who is a longtime Patriots fan.

“I’m not really surprised about the scandal because to be in control of such a large sports gambling company comes with a lot of power and responsibility,” he said. “It’s an easy way for them to make money and rig the system. I’ve always felt that you’re better off just having a fantasy pool among your friends.”

Others who enjoyed using the sites were appalled by the news.

“I like the concept because you can win money by just playing for one day,” freshman Zack Hofsncheider said. “You buy players with fake money and you don’t even have to put in much money, you can play for as low as one dollar. To hear about this though (the scandal), I don’t think it’s right. Everyone should have an equal chance to win money. They’re paying to play. That’s cheating.”

DraftKings and FanDuel both released statements defending their businesses and ensuring customers of their integrity.

DraftKings stated that a “thorough investigation, including examining records of internal communications and access to our database,” had been conducted and they concluded that “this employee could not have used the information in question to make decisions about his FanDuel lineup.”

Up until this point online fantasy sports sites have been unregulated. This news break could mean implementation of stricter guidelines.


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