By: Stephen Stowell – Staff Writer
If you watch NFL football on Sundays, you can probably quote all of FanDuel’s commercials from memory by now. FanDuel is an online fantasy sports website that gives you the ability to have a completely different fantasy team every day or week, depending on the sport. While it does offer daily hockey, basketball and baseball contests to choose from, football is by far its most popular market, which is updated weekly.
On FanDuel, you can enter different contests that have a certain dollar amount as an entry fee. Depending on how well your team performs compared to other opponents determines whether you win money or not, and how much if you do win. Before you enter a particular contest, you have the ability to look at the cash prizes based on what percentile you finish in.
In these ever-popular commercials, actual FanDuel members, rather than actors, talk about how much money they have put into the website, as well as how much money they have made. Strategically, the commercials feature users that have won substantial amounts of money. They also tell users that they have total control. You can cash out whenever you want, there are no season-long commitments and they even give you promotion codes that give you free money. What could be better than that?
Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky. My roommate, junior Jon Wessels, for example, has not been one of those commercial-worthy FanDuel members. He put $10 into the site and won a total of $2. When FanDuel felt bad that he ran out of money, they decided to send him $5 for free just to get him back on the website. Wessels is currently down to 4 cents left in his FanDuel account.
“Even though I’ve lost money playing FanDuel, it’s still a lot of fun picking a team and watching them play on Sundays,” Wessels said with perseverance.
According to FanDuel’s website, federal law has recently banned FanDuel and DraftKings, FanDuel’s competitor, from states such as Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington.
According to Helena Independent Record, “Montana law defines fantasy sports as gambling and prohibits Internet gambling.” In more recent news, ESPN writes that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman demanded that DraftKings and FanDuel stop accepting “wagers” placed by New York residents. ESPN also says that DraftKings has more than a half of a million players, so between DraftKings and FanDuel, daily fantasy sports are taking a hit after losing one of the most profitable states.
It is currently unclear as to whether or not FanDuel, which is headquartered in New York City, will maintain this location or if they will be looking for a new headquarters after this decision.