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Survey finds two-thirds of DFS players consider it a 'game of skill'

7 December 2015

(PRESS RELEASE) -- More than two-thirds (68%) of daily fantasy sports (DFS) players consider it a game of skill, according to a survey conducted by Herrick, Feinstein LLP's Sports Law Group.

The results are based on 1,081 responses to a survey of DFS players in the United States over the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 25-28, 2015.

While the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) exempted fantasy sports from the federal prohibition of online gambling as "games of skill," states such as New York, Massachusetts and Nevada are pursuing their own enforcement of the industry.

"The luck versus skill debate was a huge topic of conversation at many Thanksgiving tables last week," said Herrick Partner and Sports Law Group Co-Chair Daniel A. Etna. "With the majority of DFS players viewing the games as requiring skill, and several states aggressively pursuing their own regulations, the situation cries out for uniform nationwide regulation.

"DFS companies have created thousands of jobs and attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, with much of that investment flowing back in the form of advertising contracts, sponsorships and partnerships with pro leagues and teams. If piecemeal state regulation becomes the norm, the DFS industry — a growth story — will be in a delicate position."

The survey also found that the majority (55%) of DFS players consume more sports content as a result of their involvement in daily fantasy leagues. Specifically, 22% reported a significant increase in sports media consumption, and 33% reported a slight increase. Thirty-nine percent of DFS players cited no change to their sports media consumption, and less than 6% said their consumption decreased.

"We found that DFS creates much more fan engagement, via interaction with sports websites, going to games and watching more sports on TV," Etna said. "That added fan engagement is particularly valuable to leagues in their quest to build the value of their media rights, and sports media outlets that face intense competition, such as ESPN, which earlier this week announced the loss of seven million subscribers over the past two years."

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