DraftKings Investigates Daily Fantasy Sports Collusion Allegations

Posted on October 11, 2016 - Last Updated on March 1, 2019

[toc]Daily fantasy sports (DFS) site DraftKings has confirmed that it is investigating allegations of cheating in a million-dollar contest.

Two winners of the “Fantasy Football Millionaire” competitions are under investigation.

The winners are brothers, and each won the same contest one year apart. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, this is the basis of the allegation.

DraftKings has not provided any details on the allegations, nor has the site determined whether or not any cheating has actually occurred.

“We are in the process of an ongoing investigation,” said Jennifer Aguiar, the head of compliance at DraftKings. The company’s game integrity department is heading up the investigation.

About the allegations

The weekly Fantasy Football Millionaire contest garnered 257,000 entries, each worth $20 each. This created a total prize pool of $4,444,444 with a $1 million first prize.

Entrants picked NFL line-ups and accumulated points based on their players’ performances. The allegation is that winner Martin “papagates” Crowley from Chicago found loopholes and ways past the limit on entries per player, as well as working with another player.

Other users pointed out the relationship between papagates and his brother, and claimed that the line-ups submitted by the winners suggested they shared information.

DraftKings officials said that internal systems had flagged this issue before it was made public by other users.

“If you are sharing line-ups for the purpose of – for the lack of a better word – gaming the system, that is unacceptable,” Aguiar said.

Crowley said that he was confident in being cleared and that he had provided DraftKings with records of his own research. He claims to often discuss general strategy with his brother, but not specific line-ups.

What is daily fantasy sports?

Daily fantasy sports is a fantasy sport game in which players select a line-up of professional athletes and earn points based on how well those players perform.

Traditionally this is a season-long endeavour, but DFS provides daily or weekly contests. Players will put up an entry fee and then win a percentage of the total prize pool based on their performance.

Much like online poker, the debate rages as to whether DFS is a game of luck or skill. DFS has faced legal controversy, with detractors arguing it is nothing more than sports betting and advocates claiming it is a game of skill.

DFS has recently returned to New York

DraftKings is one of five DFS companies that were granted a temporary permit to operate in the state of New York this summer.

Operators in New York now have to pay an annual fee and 15 percent taxes on revenues, with no contests allowed on high school or college competitions. The temporary permits are put in place by the Gaming Commission of New York while it irons out further regulations.

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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