The ups and downs of FanDuel

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

By Rolando Figueroa

According to a 2015 Frontline episode, Bryce Mauro, a junior at Depauw University, makes six figures while sitting on his couch playing FanDuel. Will Frederic, an intern strength and conditioning coach at Temple University, made $2,000 overnight last month.

“It was an amazing surprise to wake up $2,000 richer,” Frederic said. “You [have] to know what type of games to play and just have faith in your picks and go with your gut.”

What do both of these men have in common? They’re both dedicated players on FanDuel, which describes itself as “The leader of one-day fantasy sports.”

However, not everyone that plays FanDuel is nearly as successful as Mauro and Frederic.

Adande Lawrence of Ontario, Canada lost about $1,000 in one night.

“I felt awful,” Lawrence said. “I wanted to quit, but I remembered someone telling me that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

Mauro, Frederic and Lawrence are members of a FanDuel community that boasts more than a million participants.

FanDuel got its start at the 2009 SXSW Interactive Festival after five friends came up with the idea for what FanDuel’s website describes as a “backyard Texas brainstorm” to change the nature of fantasy sports.

FanDuel’s CEO and co-founder Nigel Eccles and four others brought FanDuel to New York City seven years ago, where, ironically, it was banned six years later. The New York City judge called the fantasy sports league “illegal gambling.”

There’s less commitment with FanDuel and DraftKings than other fantasy sports because it has a one game option.

To join FanDuel you have to create an account and make a deposit of at least $10. The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and College sports are available on FanDuel.

The four types of games that can be played on Fanduel are tournaments which are the equivalent of playing the lottery. Leagues, which are like tournaments, but on a smaller scale, have a higher probability of winning.

Head to Heads are competitions with another FanDuel player. Finally, there’s 50/50 multipliers which probably has the

highest winning possibility of them all; the reward is doubling or tripling your money. Once players choose which league they decide to play in, they just have to pick the players from that night and hope for the best. About three months after the New

York banning of FanDuel, along with DraftKings, both fantasy leagues were granted a permanent stay In New York.

Today, it is banned in Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada and Washington state, according to Fanduel’s website.

Despite being banned in all of those states, FanDuel is now a billion dollar industry.

FanDuel also has a partnership with 16 NFL football teams and 14 NBA basketball teams.

Many critics, such as self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous, look down on FanDuel and advise their members not to join FanDuel or DraftKings.

Gamblers Anonymous board recently discussed whether to include daily fantasy sites on its formal list of activities that addicts should avoid, according to CBS News.

As for Lawrence, despite the couple thousand dollars he has lost FanDuel, he still continues to play everyday, until he “breaks through” with a life-changing amount of money, he said.

Courtsey of Fanduel.

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