DraftKings signs Nascar deal despite legal questions

DraftKings signs Nascar deal despite legal questions

Friday, May 15, 2015 Totally Gaming
DraftKings will offer new games through its Nascar partnership

DraftKings has signed a partnership with Nascar despite some concerns that fantasy sports games relating to one-off motor races are not legal in the US.

DraftKings will become the official daily fantasy sports partner of the American stock-car-racing series and acquire an exclusive licence to develop Nascar-branded games under a three-year deal.

However, TotallyGaming.com understands that rival fantasy sports operator FanDuel decided not to consider a deal with Nascar due to questions about whether games based on single races – rather than multiple events - may not be covered by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which allows fantasy sports.

FanDuel chief executive Nigel Eccles recently said that he had doubts over the legality of Nascar games, but also questioned the statistical opportunities which are so prevalent in major US sports such as American football and baseball. 

Speaking to fantasy sports website RotoGrinders, Eccles said: “We spoke to our lawyers about [Nascar] recently. The legal status is very negative.

“NASCAR doesn’t provide a lot of stats that you could construct a fantasy game around, and so any game quickly resembles sports betting. Unless that changes I can’t see us offering fantasy Nascar.”

The UIGEA says that “all winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of the performance of individuals (athletes in the case of sports events) in multiple real-world sporting or other events”.

Nevertheless, DraftKings - which was valued at $900m (€792.8m) when it last month secured a $250m investment from entertainment company Walt Disney Co - has proceeded despite the legal questions, and will use information from Nascar Digital Media, the series’ media arm, to power new free and paid-for games.

Jason Robins, chief executive and co-founder of DraftKings, said: “We're always exploring new avenues for innovation and stats from NASCAR Digital Media's direct data feed that we will provide to our players is another example of DraftKings' commitment to incorporating new technologies for the benefit of the fan.”

The link with Nascar comes after DraftKings became a partner of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and various teams from the NFL American football league during the last year.

Nascar executive vice-president and chief marketing officer Steve Phelps added: “Pursuing ways to connect with our fans on a daily basis while enhancing their viewing experience has been paramount to Nascar, and fantasy sports is a core tenet of that strategy.

“We are committed to growing our fan base, increasing engagement and diversifying our audience and partnering with DraftKings will strongly support all of these efforts."

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