Herrick’s Daily Fantasy Sports Event Explores State of the Industry

December 3, 2015
Herrick, Feinstein LLP

Herrick Releases Results of National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Players

On December 3rd, Herrick's Sports Law Group hosted a seminar on the future of the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry. Matthew Futterman of Wall Street Journal moderated an engaging discussion with panelists Don Cornwell, partner with global investment advisory firm PJT Partners; Joey Levy, co-founder and CEO of DFS company Draftpot; and Herrick Sports Law Group partners Irwin Kishner and Daniel Etna. As a kickoff to the discussion, we introduced the results of a Herrick Sports Law Group survey of more than 1,000 daily fantasy sports (DFS) players, which was conducted over the Thanksgiving holiday. The key findings include:

  • 68 percent consider DFS a game of skill
  • 55 percent are now consuming more sports content as a result of their involvement in daily fantasy leagues

    Discussion highlights:

      • Our panelists agreed that DFS will still be around in five years. In what form? Most likely with uniform regulation and taxation. As Irwin Kishner said, there’s “billions of dollars at stake” and “way too many important constituencies who want to see this as a viable business.” A uniform federal standard would address what Daniel Etna described as a “crazy, piecemeal quilt” of the current, state-by-state regulation.
      • Joey Levy said Draftpot is taking in $1.5 million in entry fees per month, and he is not worried about the long-term legal questions as DFS is “undoubtedly” a game of skill. He believes once mature, the DFS industry can support five or six major global players, each valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
      • Don Cornwell said that prospective DFS investors have been reticent lately, given the legal uncertainties. But there is still interest, the DFS business model is very sound, and should sports gambling regulations change in the U.S., these companies will be “well-positioned to own” that considerable market.


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