FanDuel and DraftKings, two of the most popular online sports game sites, have barred employees from participating in the contests for money. The decision comes after allegations were made against certain employees that they had insider information that allowed them to make unfair profits from the bets.
The news about the employees’ unfair betting advantage may never have surfaced if it was not for the mistake by an employee of DraftKings, who inadvertently posted data relating to the Millionaire Maker, which is the biggest contest held on the site. The employee had posted the data prior to the commencement of some of the NFL games that were involved in the contest.
The New York Times reported that the information revealed by the DraftKings’ employee, Ethan Haskell, for the contest showed that the employees had access to insider information that provided them with a tactical edge. The report stated that the same week Haskell had won $350,000 on the rival site, FanDuel.
The leaking of the information sparked a nationwide backlash and undermined the integrity and effectiveness of the self regulated DFS industry. The leak revealed the prevalence of certain players across the submitted lineup for the contest. For example, Julian Edelman of the Patriots was selected the most times appearing in 37% of the submitted lineups.
This kind of information is submitted regularly on the site, but not until all the lineups are finalized and the contests have started. Access to the information gave a massive edge to the employees of Draft Kings over DFS players lacking such information.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings issued statements on Monday stating that steps are being taken and that the industry is also devising policies to prevent such situations from happening in the future.
In a statement posted on the FanDuel website, the company said that despite the “recent attention on industry employees,” FanDuel and DraftKings are committed to “maintain the integrity of the games we offer to our customers.”
At the moment, there is no clear evidence that suggests that the leaking of the information led to employees’ winning. And according to the spokesperson fromFanDuel , there is no reason to believe that any attempt was made to take advantage from insider information.
The company statement declared that their internal fraud control teams rigorously monitor employees that have access to any insider data. “Both companies have strong policies in place to ensure that employees do not misuse any information at their disposal and strictly limit access to company data to only those employees who require it to do their jobs,” read the company statement.
The latest revelations came after Senator Frank Pallone of New Jersey had called for a congressional review of the industry that has around 42 million players from Canada and the U.S., and which is exempted from gambling laws.
Pallone made allegations in TODAY that it has now becoming evident that the millions of dollars that go into the industry are nothing short of gambling.
However, the FanDuel CEO, Matt King, was quick to refute this fact saying that the fantasy sport betting is a game of skill, and not of luck.