The evolution of the daily fantasy sports industry

Welcome to our timeline on the evolution of daily fantasy sports! This is your one-stop resource for the history of all things DFS. Be sure to click the wrench icon in the bottom right to change your view settings, including filters, zoom, search and more. If you have questions or additions, give us a shout at timeline@rotogrinders.com. Enjoy!

About this Timeline

This timeline is designed to give audiences of all interests a thorough overview of the history of the daily fantasy sports industry - from the sites, tournaments and well-known players, to the sponsorships, partnerships and investments that are driving such amazing growth in the space.

This is a living document, so check back often for updates as we document the DFS industry’s evolution from a backyard idea to a multi-million dollar industry.

An Industry Overview

While daily fantasy sports (DFS) has enjoyed explosive growth since 2013, the industry's origins can be traced back more than a decade. The concept for DFS was discussed throughout the 2000's, with the first gaming sites being founded in 2007. Since that time, sites have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding, while market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings have developed official business relationships with the NBA, MLB, NHL, UFC and dozens of professional sports franchises, as well as major corporations such as NBC and Comcast.

Here are a few of the industry's biggest milestones to date:

  • October 13, 2006 - The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was signed into law. While the bill crippled the online poker industry, it contained explicit language that legalized daily fantasy sports.
  • June 22, 2007 - Fantasy Sports Live launched, becoming the earliest major DFS gaming site.
  • November 30, 2008 - NBC launched SnapDraft. The site was spun-off from Instant Fantasy Sports, a DFS gaming site that NBC had acquired earlier in the year.
  • January 2009 - FanDuel was founded. Now known as the largest DFS gaming site, FanDuel was originally started as a web-based prediction market game. (The site would pivot to DFS offerings in July 2009.)
  • July 9, 2010 - RotoGrinders.com was launched.
  • August 12, 2010 - DraftStreet was launched.
  • December 5, 2010 - The 2010 FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship (FFFC) was held in Las Vegas. It was the first live final event in DFS history.
  • January 2012 - DraftKings was launched. The site would quickly grow into the second largest DFS gaming platform.
  • January 18, 2013 - The first RotoGrinders Tournament Player of the Year was crowned.
  • March 31, 2013 - Fantasy Aces was launched.
  • April 22, 2013 - MGT became the first publicly traded company to control a DFS site after it acquired FanThrowDown.
  • December 8, 2013 - The first one-day millionaire was crowned, as Travis "TSpiedo" Spieth won the $1 million grand prize at the 2013 FanDuel FFFC.
  • March 3, 2014 - DraftKings became an official partner of MLB.
  • July 14, 2014 - DraftKings acquired DraftStreet, combining the second and third largest DFS sites.
  • August 5, 2014 - DraftKings raised a whopping $41 million in funding in a Series C investment round.
  • September 2, 2014 - FanDuel raised a staggering $70 million in venture capital funding in a Series D round.
  • November 10, 2014 - DraftKings became an official partner of the NHL.
  • November 12, 2014 - FanDuel became an official partner of the NBA.
  • December 14, 2014 - Scott "Escot4" Hanson became the first multi-millionaire from a one-day fantasy event after winning the $2 million grand prize at the FanDuel 2014 FFFC.
  • February 25, 2015 - DraftKings became an official partner of UFC.

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports!

Disclosures: All RotoGrinders content contributors are active DFS players. Contributor screen names can be found on their respective RotoGrinders profile pages. Contributors reserve the right to use players or strategies not discussed in their content on RotoGrinders.