WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – More than 57 million people in the United States and Canada played fantasy sports in 2015. And if you’re one of those millions who takes part in daily fantasy sports, you’ve probably noticed that over the past year, they’ve changed a lot. What do they look like now? Well, let’s just say a year’s worth of legal battles has sites like DraftKings and Fanduel sending a different sort of message.
The two companies had commercials running all the time in 2015, and that turned off some viewers from the contests.
“Very annoying, I could almost repeat what they said verbatim in every commercial. They were on every five or ten seconds. It was insane”, said Wichita daily fantasy sports player Tyler McGregor.
Those commercials were all about promoting big checks and bigger cash prizes. But in reality, thanks to high-volume players that used computerized scripts to take advantage of beginners, almost nobody was making money. Fanduel told its investors in 2015 that only the top one tenth of a percent of players were making money. With numbers like that, it wasn’t long until the lawsuits started to pour in.
So fast forward to 2016, and Fanduel and DraftKings are operating a little differently.
Log on to DraftKings now, and before you even get to the main page, there’s an option to invite your friends. It’s all part of the new emphasis on leveling the playing field, and being able to play against only beginners.
That appeals to players like Lexy Fox, who says that “even if you don’t play fantasy football, anybody can join in. It’s just a matter of knowing your stuff, and hoping the players get it right.”
Another change in the daily fantasy sports is that it’s easier to identify the sharks. High-volume players have a badge next to their name, and every player also has an indicator of how many entries they’ve put into a given contest.
Finally, the odds are a little better for those participating in daily fantasy sports nowadays. But they’re still not great. In the majority of contests available, about three quarters of the participants still aren’t winning any money.
So despite all the incentives that both Fanduel and DraftKings are offering, keep that in mind if you’re planning on playing this year!