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  • Ross

    FanDuel statement to the Press 10/7

    https://newsroom.fanduel.com/2015/10/07/statement-to-the-press/ (text below)

    “Media reports yesterday raised issues concerning an employee from another fantasy site participating in our NFL Sunday Million contest last week. Trust with our players is core to our business and has always been our primary concern so we take any potential game integrity issue very seriously.

    Based on everything we know thus far, there is no evidence indicating that the integrity of FanDuel’s contest was in any way compromised, or that non-public information was used for unfair advantage. That said, the incident has raised questions about the trust-based relationship we have with our players so just relying on what we know right now isn’t enough. That’s why we’re taking the following steps:

    We have permanently banned our employees from playing any daily fantasy games for money, on any site. We will also require all customers to confirm that they are not an employee of any other third party fantasy site, and if they are, they will not be allowed to access our site.

    We have asked former federal judge and United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey to review the facts and evaluate our internal controls, standards and practices. His mandate is to conduct a review to identify ways that we can ensure we are doing the right things to maintain the trust we have with our players. He will have the freedom and authority to look at any areas he thinks appropriate. We will ask him and his team at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to develop a set of recommendations for us to adopt and to highlight any areas where our controls can be strengthened.

    We are also creating an internal advisory board, led by Michael Garcia of the Kirkland & Ellis law firm and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The advisory board will provide on-going advice, recommendations and guidance to ensure that we are always taking every step possible to ensure the integrity of our site and our games. We also look forward to speaking with regulators across the nation about how to define the right set of rules for our industry as it continues to grow.

    FanDuel is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. The way fans have embraced our games is a clear sign that fantasy sports is here to stay.

    It’s our job to ensure that as our company grows, so does our ability to ensure that our fans can be confident in the sanctity and integrity of every game, every day.”

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    @Joe1Coal said...

    If they can make more money at DFS, then quit. If not, then stop playing. Simple solutions.

    It’s not quite that simple. I have a friend that works in the industry. He’s also a very good player and makes a considerable amount playing DFS. As of last week, he was able to count on income from both sides. Now? He’ll have to choose. All this because of a mishap that had nothing to do with him. I’m currently not in that position, but the idea of both playing and working in the industry was a goal that I had wanted to pursue. Now, that dream is dead.

  • Joe1Coal

    @kaetorade said...

    It’s not quite that simple. I have a friend that works in the industry. He’s also a very good player and makes a considerable amount playing DFS. As of last week, he was able to count on income from both sides. Now? He’ll have to choose. All this because of a mishap that had nothing to do with him. I’m currently not in that position, but the idea of both playing and working in the industry was a goal that I had wanted to pursue. Now, that dream is dead.

    I don’t really see how this is a problem. This should have NEVER been allowed. This is a conflict of interest. You don’t have Kirk Herbstreet even make a PICK on a game that he’s announcing on college game day. You don’t have insider trading. There are reasons there are safe guards put in on industries. This industry has been operated like the wild west. I understand what you’re saying, I do, and it sucks to lose some income. I am not for anyone losing income. However, there’s no way this should have been allowed since day one.

  • tgowen

    • Blogger of the Month

    FD once again proves why they are number 1. There’s a problem, they addressed it, now let’s get back to playing. Great job.

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    @Joe1Coal said...

    I don’t really see how this is a problem. This should have NEVER been allowed. This is a conflict of interest. You don’t have Kirk Herbstreet even make a PICK on a game that he’s announcing on college game day. You don’t have insider trading. There are reasons there are safe guards put in on industries. This industry has been operated like the wild west. I understand what you’re saying, I do, and it sucks to lose some income. I am not for anyone losing income. However, there’s no way this should have been allowed since day one.

    While I agree with you to a large degree, I have no problem with employees playing IF I know they do NOT have access to other people’s lineups. That is a debatable topic and ultimately, it doesn’t matter now. However, when you’re used to a certain income and suddenly, it’s drastically reduced, that’s tough. I know it’s hard to feel for guys who are crushing, but they have families and bills like everyone else. And like everyone else, they plan their life based on the income they’ve made and the income they’re expecting to make.

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    I apologize for the double post, but despite the sentiments I shared above, I completely agree with FD’s decision and I hope that other sites follow. I haven’t seen it addressed on here, but in talking with others, there’s an even bigger advantage for those that work in the industry: They can see the balance sheets of players. That means they know who the whales are, who the sharks are, who the fish are, etc. etc. With this type of access, game selection takes on a whole new meaning. While this type of information can still be abused indirectly, it’s one more hoop that people have to jump, one more deterrent to make people think twice.

  • WilliamDeBrigham

    Yeah but their is no way to know what info they have or dont… For the trust to remain their is no way they can continue to play if they work for any DFS company. Any inside info even the most insignificant would still be a problem.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @kaetorade said...

    While I agree with you to a large degree, I have no problem with employees playing IF I know they do NOT have access to other people’s lineups. That is a debatable topic and ultimately, it doesn’t matter now. However, when you’re used to a certain income and suddenly, it’s drastically reduced, that’s tough. I know it’s hard to feel for guys who are crushing, but they have families and bills like everyone else. And like everyone else, they plan their life based on the income they’ve made and the income they’re expecting to make.

    Understood and I see your points. Until yesterday I was fully in favor and never had an issue with employees playing on other sites. It was always an accepted practice as most of these employees started playing in the industry and then got hired by the sites for that reason. Why would you not hire people who are familiar with the industry and have a passion for it whenever possible?

    But the more I thought about this yesterday, the perception matters. It’s impossible to completely ensure that none of these employees can access confidential information. For that reason, it just makes sense to not allow employees to play DFS. The words “insider trading” was used a lot yesterday. Those of us that have been around this industry know that it is not insider trading. But for those they don’t understand the industry, that’s exactly what it looks.

  • Njcop2001

    Employees will just use accounts set up by brothers, sisters, friends, etc. I see no practical way to prevent employees from continuing to play DFS. The only way to stop people from having “inside info” is to make everyone aware of owner % in real time.

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    @Njcop2001 said...

    Employees will just use accounts set up by brothers, sisters, friends, etc. I see no practical way to prevent employees from continuing to play DFS. The only way to stop people from having “inside info” is to make everyone aware of owner % in real time.

    There are a lot of jobs where confidentiality is of the utmost importance. I have a sister that practices law and I’d laugh at her for not wanting to tell me certain details. I get that it’s confidential, but I’m her brother. Didn’t matter to her. I’m not suggesting such a practice is easy to implement and enforcing such a policy will be difficult, to say the least. However, rogue employees can be dealt with swiftly and such a move would gain the trust of the public.

  • jakeupjohnson

    So paying some former federal prosecutors to make meaningless suggestions and in doing so validate your company’s continued existence is supposed to make everyone feel better? The oldest trick in the book is to have a person you pay conduct an “impartial” review of the nonsense you’ve been allowing. Then that person, who was paid a large sum, tells us all nothing serious went down. Anyone who believes multiple employees of FD and DK winning large sums of money on those sites did not involve cheating is insane. We are talking about a pool of a few dozen people who have access to privileged information coming in second in tournaments that involve hundreds of thousands of people. The power of the brain to believe what it wants never ceases to amaze me.

  • ChaosM83

    • 770

      RG Overall Ranking

    @kaetorade said...

    It’s not quite that simple. I have a friend that works in the industry. He’s also a very good player and makes a considerable amount playing DFS. As of last week, he was able to count on income from both sides. Now? He’ll have to choose. All this because of a mishap that had nothing to do with him. I’m currently not in that position, but the idea of both playing and working in the industry was a goal that I had wanted to pursue. Now, that dream is dead.

    You can still work in the industry, you just can’t work for a game provider, which does limit your options.

    Not only is it a blow to employees income, but I imagine if you work in DFS then you enjoy DFS, and now you can’t play. I totally get certain people with access to certain information shouldn’t be allowed to play based on the information they have. But there are plenty of employees who I believe don’t have access to that type of information.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and I’m not saying it is apples to apples. But if you work at a sports book in Vegas, are you allowed to place bets at other sports books in Vegas?

  • troveur

    The no playing DFS part is clearly a simple CYA for FD as it only applies to the “employee”(I have no problem with that-it’s a smart PR ploy for them). The high volume winning employees would be insane not to simply make an account in a wife/cousin/grandpa’s name and keep the profits rolling in.

    In the end, I highly doubt FD would even care(just like they never cared before this week happened)—if the employee is smart and just stays quiet and doesn’t flaunt what they are doing then both sides will be happy. If they are idiots promoting themselves on social media about what they are doing then FD should cut their nuts off.

  • Dainfamusgc

    @kaetorade said...

    I feel for those who are directly affected by FD’s new policy, but it seemed to be an inevitable step considering the recent events. Ultimately, this will go a long ways in regaining the public trust. Kudos to you, Fanduel!

    I’m sure they can just sign up under family member or friend

  • Bschwarze325

    Love the response FD! Another reason why I continue to play most of my volume there!

  • TheFranchise

    I really hope Fanduel is doing it’s do deligence to make sure no one has access to data giving then an unfair advantage but I don’t see this statement as forthright at all. They stated “employee from another fantasy site” but failed to mention the New York attorney generals office inquiring about one of their employees who has had quite a bit of success in just the past few months. https://sports.vice.com/ca/highlight/new-york-attorney-general-investigating-fanduel-and-draftkings-for-potential-fraud

  • Dmurphy104

    • Blogger of the Month

    @TheFranchise said...

    I really hope Fanduel is doing it’s do deligence to make sure no one has access to data giving then an unfair advantage but I don’t see this statement as forthright at all. They stated “employee from another fantasy site” but failed to mention the New York attorney generals office inquiring about one of their employees who has had quite a bit of success in just the past few months. https://sports.vice.com/ca/highlight/new-york-attorney-general-investigating-fanduel-and-draftkings-for-potential-fraud

    Why would they put that in the press release? They will address that with the AG.

  • Geauxgonzo

    Anyone with access to any data that gives any advantage should never have been allowed to play; however, as most on this site have stated it will be impossible to stop completely.Not blaming any individual dfs employee as you better damn well believe I would use any data I could to my advantage if I had access to it. I wonder if the best solution is to just make all player percentage data available to everyone. It would surely change the way the game is played but may be a better solution.

  • punisherjck

    @cubsfan333 said...

    Thank you fanduel.

    I fee like Nigel was on stage reading this statement them literally walked off and dropped the mic.

    The sites needed to go way above and beyond and FD did it! Bravo fanduel bravo.

    I am sure you are kidding, but hopefully plenty of people at both of the 2 big DFS sites have been humbled enough by this incident to forgo any “mic dropping” for a while. I agree this is a great start though.

  • methodical

    Regulation, by any person on any party, is a very slippery slope.

    We don’t know where this new beginning will end.

  • CMags44

    @troveur said...

    The high volume winning employees would be insane not to simply make an account in a wife/cousin/grandpa’s name and keep the profits rolling in.

    Disagree. Way too much risk, and way too easy to get caught. Imagine putting an account in grandpa’s name… big players can win $100,000 or more in a year. Grandpa has to pay taxes on this money. Grandpa (unless dead) can’t transfer more than $13K to a person a year ($26K if married) without the excess being taxed. But the biggest issue – IF this would get out, after FanDuel put out a statement as they did, you can be darn well sure they would be legal action against FD and the employee who did this type of thing. FD would be smart to write their new “policy” in such a way to protect against employees doing exactly this – otherwise FD will be open to lawsuits I would think.

  • julieduke33

    @tasteitsucka said...

    Yeah. The report where the guy had the information and won. And this is the first time he, or anyone else, got caught.

    So you are saying if you had ownership % from DK but you couldn’t change your FD lineup that would help you win FD tourney?.?? I don’t think having ownership % before lock by most DFS players would result in them winning tourneys either..only way to really cheat would be t enter a lineup after the games are over and I don’t think that’s possible…

    If you think rampant cheating is going on its simple don’t play…

  • julieduke33

    @jakeupjohnson said...

    So paying some former federal prosecutors to make meaningless suggestions and in doing so validate your company’s continued existence is supposed to make everyone feel better? The oldest trick in the book is to have a person you pay conduct an “impartial” review of the nonsense you’ve been allowing. Then that person, who was paid a large sum, tells us all nothing serious went down. Anyone who believes multiple employees of FD and DK winning large sums of money on those sites did not involve cheating is insane. We are talking about a pool of a few dozen people who have access to privileged information coming in second in tournaments that involve hundreds of thousands of people. The power of the brain to believe what it wants never ceases to amaze me.

    This is how the Billion dollar NFL resolves their problems too

  • TheFranchise

  • julieduke33

    Explain to me how having ownership ‘S guarantees you a GPP win??? I mean the games still have to be played..oh wait only 5 started Jimmy Clausen against Seattle so I’m gonna play him and take down a GPP???

  • djcarr

    Great response to the issue but it clearly has directly missed one major factor. Our main concern should be with protocol on limiting who has access to the private data. I know they indirectly somewhat touched on this but this, to me, is the core of the problem. Banning employees alone does nothing to prevent the use of private data for players’ advantage. Employees could easily share with friends to play on their behalf.

    DK has even further to go to attempt to regain trust. They even failed to pay out on a guaranteed contest. No proper recourse. We should all be concerned with playing at FD and DK still for multiple reasons. Good start by FD. I’ll give them that. Sounds like they may put proper safeguards in place soon.

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