DraftKings has collaborated with a number of premier poker series to promote its brand and build its customer fan base.
The company recently decided to sever all ties with these top poker series including the World Series of Poker as DraftKings and FanDuel, the two companies that dominate over 90 percent of the fantasy sports betting market have been banned from operating in Nevada as the state gaming association has categorized fantasy sports betting in a similar niche as online poker.
Federal and state authorities are looking into the fantasy sports betting market as initial investigations by Nevada authorities have found references where DraftKings CEO had earlier referred to fantasy sports betting market as similar to an online casino. The fantasy sports betting market has not been subjected to any online gaming regulations as it was previously marketed as a game of skill and functioned as an exemption from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
The fantasy sports betting market allows players to pick their own fantasy teams and play competitions based on their likes and dislikes. The market has exploded over the last few years as companies have offered players a number of promotions and games that are very similar to the online gambling industry. As a result, the Nevada gaming commission recently decided to ban both DraftKings and FanDuel from operating in the state, until the companies obtain a gaming licence.
Amaya Inc who operates Pokerstars and StarDrafts, a fantasy sports betting website decided to suspend its operations in all states until more clarity is received into the rules surrounding the fantasy sports betting market.
DraftKings appears to be taking remedial action by severing its links with poker series as the company attempts to disassociate from all things poker related. The company had aggressively promoted its brand at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) but has now asked the WSOP to stop all promotions.
In a statement, Seth Palansky, a representative for the World Series of Poker said
In light of last week’s news in Nevada, DraftKings asked us to cease any sponsorship activities around the remaining few W.S.O.P. events of the year, and we complied.
Max Steinberg, one of the nine players to make it to the $7.68 million WSOP Main Event final gained entry via a DraftKings game that had an entry fee of just $27 and Steinberg had the DraftKings logo when he competed at the WSOP. DraftKings no longer works with Steinberg.