GiGse focus: DFS must deal with credibility issues to survive

GiGse focus: DFS must deal with credibility issues to survive

Thursday, March 10, 2016 Totally Gaming
Seth Young revealed that Star Fantasy Leagues will unveil a new DFS product for casinos this year

Seth Young, a senior figure at leading daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator Star Fantasy Leagues, believes the sector’s failure to take a lead in its own regulation has played a major role in its downfall in the US.

Young, the vice-president and chief operating officer at parent company Flower City Gaming (FCG), told TotallyGaming.com that a new attitude towards corporate governance, and a more co-ordinated approach by operators and trade groups, can help DFS to recover after a series of regulatory blows over the last few months.

Young was speaking ahead of his appearance at GiGse, where he will lead a session on ‘Monetising fantasy sports in a casino setting’. 

“I’m optimistic about the future of fantasy sports in the US,” he said. “There are a lot of roadblocks ahead, but it’s nothing that is insurmountable with a little common sense and a willingness to solve between lawmakers and key players in the industry.

“Self-regulation could have worked if the industry banded together and took a step back before taking two steps forward, but to date it has been an abject failure as different groups had different goals.

“We have seen some fantasy sports companies go belly-up, needing a bailout to pay out customer funds. We have seen allegations of ‘insider trading’, a bevy of class action lawsuits referencing deceptive advertising, and have heard rumblings for years about a complete lack of integrated compliance technologies, namely age and ID verification, a cornerstone of operating in iGaming.

“These are not great foundations when you’re aiming to grow and be accepted as a real-money gaming product, regardless of whether or not different state lawmakers consider this a skill gaming product or a gambling product.”

Young said that FCG’s B2B offering can help operators deal with many of the issues that have troubled lawmakers in the US, with states such as Texas and New York banning real-money games in the last four months.

“Our technology is mature, we built it from day one with certain values in mind," Young said. "It is backed by a group with subject matter expertise in the market, and we are committed to the growing this sector with like-minded partners that use our technology.”

As one of the hottest topics in gaming, DFS will be a major talking point at this year’s GiGse event, which will take place in San Francisco from April 27-29. The event – organised by Clarion Events, the operator of ICE Totally Gaming – will again welcome more than 700 of the biggest names in the North American gaming industry.

The major themes at GiGse 2016 will be millennials and technology, and with concerns about the casino industry’s struggle to attract younger visitors, Young will tell attendees how FCG’s new white-label fantasy product, created specifically for the bricks-and-mortar sector, could play a role in solving their problems. 

“We’re building technologies specifically for the casinos and actively seeking new partnerships," Young said.

“We’ve done our homework and are poised to introduce a new fantasy sports game in 2016 that provides the same DFS experience people have come to love, but with different mechanisms that will work for casinos. It can be introduced in a bricks-and-mortar environment, on a casino’s iGaming platform, or both - also naturally pushing the retail customer to a digital product.

“The game is truly amazing; it solves all of the perceived business model problems that retail or bricks-and-mortar groups would have with DFS without compromising the game experience."

* GiGse takes place from April 27-29 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.gigse.com. Early Bird rate ends March 18, click here for more details: http://bit.ly/1QDPVmd

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