FanDuel CEO Matt King says DFS isn’t Gambling

The Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry has never been under more scrutiny than it is today. Lawmakers in many states are challenging the notion that DFS should be allowed to operate anywhere in the United States. And New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently did an interview with PBS, where he explained why his state is going after the industry.

FanDuel CEO Matt King also offered his take on the matter to PBS, and he’s pretty adamant that DFS is “entertainment” rather than “gambling.”

“Every time that you talk to our users, what comes through loud and clear is the fact that we are an entertainment product,” King told PBS. “And unlike gambling, which is made up of games of chance, daily fantasy sports is truly a game of skill. Just like football or basketball. The more you practice, the better that you get.”

Interestingly enough, DFS remains a grey area across most of the U.S., while other forms of gaming like sports betting and casinos are heavily regulated. When asked about this, King tried to say that DFS differs because it’s a “social activity.”

“Fantasy sports has always been recognized to play a different role. When you talk to people about fantasy sports, it’s a social activity. It’s about competing with their friends,” King explained. “But we are clearly very focused on making sure that everybody in the industry operates with the highest degree of integrity.”

One good point that the interviewer brought up is how a college fraternity member reportedly bet $24,000 on DFS throughout a single day. King tried to get around this by discussing the controls and identification process that FanDuel sets forth.

“I think everybody has their own passions,” King said. “I think one of the things that’s important to know about our business is we take very seriously making sure our users are who they say they are and they abide by kind of all the necessary rules and regulations.”

One more interesting topic that was brought up was online poker, which has gone through some major legal trials over the years. And King was sure to try and distance DFS from poker as much as possible.

“There is a lot of academic research on this, what’s the skill versus luck kind of spectrum,” King said when asked about poker as a skill game. “The reality is within poker, every time you shuffle the deck, it creates an element of luck that trumps it basically to being much more a chance-dominated game than a skill-dominated game. If you look at our data, the players that are good, are frankly consistently good. It is truly a game of skill.”

Despite how King may try to spin things, it seems that DFS could soon go down the same road as poker in terms of legality. And in the coming months, we should find out whether or not New York is indeed allowed to ban FanDuel from their state.