Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday $ports Night

I stopped playing long ago; however, this is apparently big bu$ine$$ because it is the above-the-fold lead in today's Globe, with a different kind of $port sharing the space.

"DraftKings’ merger with FanDuel challenged by FTC" by Andy Rosen and Dan Adams Globe Staff  June 19, 2017

Federal regulators will attempt to block the merger of Boston-based DraftKings Inc. and rival FanDuel Inc., they said Monday, jeopardizing a deal the two giants of the emerging daily fantasy sports industry have said is critical to their future.

I'm actually up$et, 'er, $urpri$ed.

The Federal Trade Commission said it would sue to stop the merger, arguing that the resulting company would control more than 90 percent of the multibillion-dollar US market for paid daily fantasy contests, a violation of antitrust laws.

The companies have said they compete more broadly, facing off with providers of traditional season-long fantasy games, such as those offered by ESPN and Yahoo. But the FTC disagreed, declaring that DraftKings and FanDuel “are each other’s most significant competitor.”

DraftKings, one of the region’s best-known startups, and New York-based FanDuel said in a joint statement that they “continue to believe that a merger is in the best interests of our players, our companies, our employees and the fantasy sports industry.”

The companies added that they were still weighing how to respond legally. But in an internal memo obtained by the Globe, a DraftKings executive said the company will ask a federal court to issue an injunction against the FTC’s action.

“Please don’t let this regulatory setback distract you,” cofounder and chief operating officer Paul Liberman told employees in the memo. “DraftKings is poised for growth, whether or not we merge with FanDuel.”

Industry observers said the threat of a federal lawsuit raises the prospect the companies will have to repeat the costly marketing battle that accompanied the industry’s rise to prominence two years ago. In the fall of 2015, it seemed as though DraftKings and FanDuel ads appeared during nearly every professional sports broadcast.

That's when the politicians sat up and took notice that there was a whole pile of money from which they were not getting their cut. They kind of did it to themselves with the advertising blitz. Drew attention to it.

Some analysts question whether there is room in the market for both outfits, which offer contests that allow players to select teams of real-life players, monitor their performances, and collect cash prizes for assembling top squads.

The companies — with about 5.5 million active users combined — take a slice of the entry fees, typically about 10 percent.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm, estimates that players spent $3.26 billion on daily fantasy contests in 2016, up about 4 percent from 2015.

It was also the first year in which net revenue at the faster-growing DraftKings surpassed that of FanDuel. The report said that after paying prize money, DraftKings’ revenue last year was $169 million, and FanDuel brought in $166 million. DraftKings was founded in 2012, while FanDuel dates to 2009.

The industry’s overall growth rate slowed last year, in part because of regulatory uncertainties.

Jeff Ifrah, a gambling lawyer who represents several smaller fantasy sports companies, said the companies are facing their own play clock, as the September start of the National Football League season approaches.

“They need to find a solution before the NFL starts again,” Ifrah said. “They just don’t have the money to go into the season as separate companies while maintaining the same type of advertising and customer acquisition costs, but they also can’t unilaterally reduce the level of spend on ads.”

“The assumption is that they wanted this merger because their lives depended on it,” he added. Both companies are believed to be short on cash, Ifrah said.

The merger was intended to share marketing, legal, and other costs in an industry facing heightened regulation and tax demands.....

I wonder if the $portos know that government, in its greed, ruined a good thing. Yes, some players may have had in$ide advantages and algorithms that tilt the $y$tem, is it really any different than Wall $treet? It's the illusion of the fun as you dig into the sports statistics during and after the games. Forget the wider world at large; that serious stuff will be found inside the paper. 

Now please, a moment of silence for the troops before the flyover.


Time to call a bookie.

I flip below the fold and the Celtic's recent swapping of draft picks greets me.

Do I have a complaint

Yeah, (blog editor pauses), isn't there separate section for that stuff?

Also see: 

Northeastern University gets a big league endorsement

A shirtless Gronk reportedly runs up $102,000 bar tab at Foxwoods

Brady wants to play a game in China

They are going to put him and a few guests up in a house by the sea.

UPDATE: Looks like they lo$t their footing.